Schools get new framework on values education

The Education Bureau (EDB) on Tuesday unveiled new guidelines on values education aimed at instiling positive values and attitudes in primary and secondary school students, using “Chinese culture as the backbone.”

The Values and Education Curriculum Framework is meant to guide local schools in inculcating students with a range of values, including diligence, perseverance, respect for others and integrity.

It also highlights the need to nurture a sense of national identity, with students to be taught a correct understanding of Chinese history, and an appreciation of traditional Chinese culture and values.

Kids should also learn to respect symbols such as the national flag, appreciate Chinese culture and traditional values, and understand the importance of China’s Constitution, the Basic Law and national security, the framework says.

In a statement, the EDB said this sort of values education would “cultivate a sense of national identity among students and help them understand their responsibility, as a Chinese, to protect their family and the country and to share joys and sorrows.”

The values to be promoted are supposed to extend far beyond the classroom – so as to help students face challenges and opportunities in their personal and family lives, as well as on the national and even global stages.

As such, the curriculum will include a broad range of topics, from teaching students to critically assess the information they get from the media, to sex education and even the meaning of life.

Schools will be provided with the needed resources – including animations and comics – so that they can develop their own strategies and enlist the help of staff, parents and alumni in implementing this new values education framework.

Mervyn Cheung, who chairs the Education Policy Concern Organisation, said values education could be too abstract for students.

“Education authorities and also schools may need to consider contextualising such teaching with the daily life experiences, the situations the students may come across in their normal life or in the process of social interactions,” he said.

Cheung suggested the use of role models for youngsters.

“Role models who are highly regarded by society may help, for example university heads, scientists… all these are people who may provide a good example to students on the virtues, on the values in their learning process.”

An EDB spokesman said this new framework is being launched on a trial basis this year, and officials will collect feedback from schools to enhance the curriculum, for full implementation in the next school year.
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Last updated: 2021-11-30 HKT 21:46