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» 07/19/2012
HONG KONG
Catholic schools against Beijing's 'national education'
Card Tong writes to school principals and supervisors, urging step-by-step action. Assistant to Episcopal education delegate says Catholic schools should not introduce the subject until a diocesan taskforce looks into it. At the same time, "we don't necessarily have to use" government money "even if it is given".

Hong 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.

Ip 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.

"We are responsible to parents and students," he explained, and "we don't necessarily have to use it [the funding] even if it is given".

Recently, 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.

Although 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.

On top of that, the reform calls for all Hong Kong schools, primary and up, to include unspecified national education course as a separate subject.

At 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?"


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See also
10/09/2012 HONG KONG - CHINA
End to Hong Kong's 'national education,' a victory for civil society
12/11/2006 HONG KONG
Card. Zen: “Government is heartless, disrespectful of Church regarding schools”
09/28/2012 HONG KONG - CHINA
Government gives in and drops national education
09/06/2012 HONG KONG - CHINA
National education in Hong Kong: protests continue, Chief Executive won’t be at ASEAN
08/29/2012 HONG KONG - CHINA
Hong Kong teachers vow to fight against brainwashing imposed by Beijing

Editor's choices
VATICAN
Pope: I am with the persecuted Christians of Mosul and the Middle East "May the God of peace inspire in all a genuine desire for dialogue and reconciliation. Violence is never defeated with violence. Violence is defeated with peace." At the Sunday Angelus Francis comments on the parable of the wheat and the weeds. God is "patient" He knows "the same weeds in the end, may become good wheat". But "at the time of the harvest, that is, of judgment, the reapers will execute the order of the master separating the weeds to be burned".
CHINA - VATICAN
Beijing, seminarians desert graduation ceremony: We will not celebrate Mass with illegitimate bishops The rector of the seminary is the illegitimate bishop Joseph Ma Yinglin: Students refuse to concelebrate with him and reject Msgr. Fang Xingyao, who has participated in several illegal episcopal ordinations. The directors close the year without awarding diplomas and send students home: rumors of some courses being "suspended" in September. The precedent of 2000, when 130 young students chose fidelity to the Pope over compromise with the government.
HONG KONG-CHINA-VATICAN
Card Zen: Religious freedom and civil liberties are united, for China and Hong Kong
by Bernardo CervelleraA wide ranging conversation with the bishop emeritus of Hong Kong: the courage of Msgr. Ma Daqin, who sent a message to Pope Francis; underground Catholics are also prepared to be arrested; suspicions about Beijing’s sincerity towards possible dialogue with the Holy See. And in Hong Kong, the march for a referendum on democracy; support for "Occupy Central"; the fear of the government and arrests. Card. Zen reaffirms that religious freedom and civil liberties go hand in hand.

Dossier
by Giulio Aleni / (a cura di) Gianni Criveller
pp. 176
by Lazzarotto Angelo S.
pp. 528
by Bernardo Cervellera
pp. 240
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