Kong (AsiaNews) - Catholic schools will not heed the government's invitation to
introduce the national education course in its schools. Antony Ip Sing-piu, an
assistant to the Episcopal delegate for education, said yesterday that Catholic
schools would not introduce the subject "the way it has been
proposed" until a clear set of objectives was drawn up by a recently
formed diocesan taskforce looking into the subject.
said that, for now, Catholic schools would not use the HK$530,000 (US$ 68,000) offered
by the government to schools that introduced the subject.
are responsible to parents and students," he explained, and "we don't necessarily
have to use it [the funding] even if it is given".
Ip said, Cardinal John Tong-hon wrote a letter to Hong Kong Catholic school
principals and supervisors stating that national education should be introduced
to Catholic classrooms step by step.
According to the reform, which was proposed in 2002
and adopted in 2004, each publicly-funded school has to set up an incorporated
management committee (IMC) that would included parents' elected
representatives, alumni and government appointees. They would run the school.
60 per cent of IMC members would be picked by a school's sponsoring body, Christian
groups are afraid that education would be politicised, and that sooner or later
the government would choose the curricula, elbowing out sponsoring bodies.
top of that, the reform calls for all Hong Kong schools, primary and up, to
include unspecified national education course as a separate subject.
an education forum in the former British colony last year, Card Joseph Zen
Ze-kiun, Hong Kong's bishop emeritus, dismissed the course as brain washing. "What
do they expect?" he asked, "that we approve the actions of the Communist party?"