National Education Curriculum
in Hong Kong
Brainwashing? Propaganda? Almost assuredly. At least we can be sure from the National Education implementation that nothing has dramatically changed from the two previous HK CE's. The CE will implement his pet programmes over divided public opinion while claiming public support. The CE will block programmes he dislikes with the rationale that public opinion is divided and the public supports his blocking these programmes. The behaviour shows utter contempt for the people of HK and an unwillingness to treat them as adults. (Insert some ideas of modern neo-Confucianism as a rationalisation for authoritarians to treat the people they rule over as non-adult lesser beings.)
As the HK SAR government rams through their National Education programme, let's keep a few questions in mind when determining if it is brainwashing. First, will the HK SAR government fund alternative curriculum development? Second, will the HK SAR government delay implementation of the program until alternative curriculums are available? And third, will the government require alternative curriculums be approved as satisfactory by the Department of Education?
Could I develop a National Education curriculum that taught the Chinese Communist Party's insurgency from the 20s crippled China economically, militarily, and politically to the point it was an easy target for Japanese invasion? Could I teach that the US-brokered truce between the Communists and Chiang Kai-shek was the only thing that allowed the CCP to survive the 40s? Could I teach that the Communists ran the country in to the ground from 1949 to 1979 economically, thus producing an incredibly depressed baseline from which to judge current economic progress? Could I teach that during those 30 years that Chiang Kai-shek, Lee Kuan-yew, and even the British in HK, demonstrated the same economic growth that the CCP now claim to be superior to all others? Could I teach that the major driving force of the PRC's economic miracle of the last 30 years was a willingness to sacrifice Chinese labour as cheap serfs for HK and Taiwanese capital, which then produced knock-on unemployment in HK and Taiwan? Teach that the one true miracle of the CCP economically is a willingness to force unequal economic treaties on foreign companies who are blindly tempted by the ever unrealized notion of a billion person market? Could I excerpt a travel guide on Taiwan and state that Taipei's beauty was unrealised until democracy forced the KMT to pursue policies to make the Taiwanese people happy?
I'm sure my educational curriculum would be labeled as brainwashing by those who developed the government's curriculum. But given what I've seen of the HK Secondary School Geography curriculum, I'm not surprised at the brainwashing in education here. When I say Geography, don't think geography. The curriculum is closer to some sort of property tycoon urban planning nirvana. Living in over-priced under-sized mislabeled high-rise rabbit hutches is the natural order of things, so don't worry and be happy.
As for appeals to being Chinese and the importance of learning Chinese culture? It's as if the students aren't learning Putonghua. It's as if the students for generations haven't been brainwashed in to believing that written Cantonese is invalid and unworthy of study in favour of written Putonghua. It's as if the students don't already study Chinese history and Chinese literature. And if you want to teach a Chinese government class, do we need more than the Basic Law of HK and the Constitution of the PRC? Do we need the misinterpretations of the Basic Law by the Election Committee and the National People's Congress? Do we need to do more than hand our students rubber stamps for them to understand the CCP and HK's Executive-led governments?