The politics of hope and cynicism in the realization of the vision of the 334 education reform in Hong Kong

Sou Sydney PUN

Research output: Contribution to journalArticles

7 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

According to Fanny Law Fan Chiu-fun, the former Permanent Secretary for Education and Manpower, the most significant education policy in recent years in Hong Kong was undoubtedly the new academic structure commonly known as “334.” As schools, universities, and the community at large seemed to accept the new academic structure in principle, the areas of contention would mostly lie in the timing and details. Sparked by the suicides of two teachers, a wave of unprecedented protests and opposition against the government’s education policy followed, which led to the departure of the former Permanent Secretary for Education and Manpower Fanny Law Fan Chiu-fun and the Secretary for Education and Manpower Arthur Li Kwok-cheung from the education portfolio. This situation suggests that something was wrong with the teachers’ working environment. This article aims to make sense of these discursive events through a critical discourse analysis of the “334” education policy with materials taken from documents, speeches, and press releases published by the government as well as newspaper articles drawn from South China Morning Post, which is a rich source of contested ideas. An eclectic approach is drawn from both “state-centered” and “policy cycle” perspectives synthesized and adopted for this article. Upon this contested terrain in which individual policy actors struggle to achieve the desired political outcomes, the intention of this article is to explore how the state and other interest groups acted, reacted, and interacted in the policy processes of the 334 Education Reform. Copyright © 2013 Education Research Institute, Seoul National University, Seoul, Korea.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)55-65
JournalAsia Pacific Education Review
Volume14
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2013

Citation

Pun, S. S. (2013). The politics of hope and cynicism in the realization of the vision of the 334 education reform in Hong Kong. Asia Pacific Education Review, 14(1), 55-65.

Keywords

  • Educational policy
  • Politics of education
  • Educational change
  • Change strategies
  • Change agents

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