Secretary for Education elaborates on national security education and HKDSE Examination History paper


23rd May 2020 – (Hong Kong) The Secretary for Education, Mr Kevin Yeung, and Deputy Secretary for Education, Mrs Hong Chan Tsui-wah, explained at a media session after attending a radio programme today on education on national security in Hong Kong.

Kevin Yeung said that that they fully support National People’s Congress’ decision to legislate for a new national security law which would be applicable to Hong Kong. One of the follow-up that they mentioned is about education on national security in Hong Kong. Kevin Yeung thinks this is more than just school education and it is also about the whole education in the whole community because he believes every citizen also has the responsibility to ensure national security. In schools, when the law is enacted and implemented, they will see how to explain to their students the essence of the law and also the underlying principles to them in their curriculum.

With regards to the cancellation of the History examination question, Mrs. Hong, the Deputy Secretary for Education responded that the question by design has serious faults. It is not compatible with the History curriculum objectives and the information provided there does not fall into the level of understanding of the students. This is because within the curriculum the main emphasis is on the invasion by Japan and, in a very rare case, school teachers would touch upon the economic invasion. However, the information provided in the question seemed to lead students to believe that there are merits or good done by the Japanese. So that is, by itself, misleading. Students have not learned this within the curriculum and in the classroom. It is very difficult for them to judge the intricacies of the information provided to arrive at a reliable judgement. So very often they just based on the information to come up with a very superficial understanding, just like doing a comprehension exercise to believe that Japan had done some good to China but that is not true because the problem is that there are malicious intention behind and some historians would regard that as some forms of economic invasions. The information therein are not reliable, not reflected the true picture. So it is very difficult to come up with a reliable marking scheme. From the assessment point of view, for a question with serious faults in design, one cannot come up with a reliable, objective marking scheme to differentiate students.