HONG KONG - Hong Kong's Education Bureau (EDB) has dismissed allegations that a review of senior secondary Liberal Studies "textbooks" had been unprofessional and politically motivated.
In response to views of Hong Kong Professional Teachers' Union (PTU) that the professional consultancy service for Liberal Studies "textbooks" had been unprofessional and subject to political censorship, an EDB spokesman said in a press release issued late Wednesday that the allegations were untrue.
In the press release, the spokesman explained that the provision of a one-off professional consultancy service had been triggered by the social incidents last year. Public concerns had been mounting about doxxing, suspected bullying as well as biased teaching materials, including Liberal Studies learning materials and questions had been asked about whether the EDB had abandoned monitoring the quality of "textbooks". According to the press release, both the EDB and publishers had received a considerable number of complaints.
In the press release, an EDB spokesman explained that the provision of one-off professional consultancy service had been triggered by the social incidents last year
In response to such concerns, the EDB made a special arrangement to offer professional consultancy service to the publishers of Liberal Studies "textbooks" so as to "improve the quality of these 'textbooks' and to ensure that the 'textbooks' are in line with the curriculum aims, objectives and learning focuses". The spokesman said the consultancy was provided by a professional team, comprising subject specialists, academics and education professionals.
The spokesman was quoted as saying in the press release: "Since the implementation of the New Senior Secondary Academic Structure, LS has been a core subject for more than 10 years. The textbooks currently available on the market have never been reviewed by the EDB. They are entirely written according to the authors' own interpretation of the curriculum. The degree of rigor of content and expression is different from that of the formal textbooks."
The spokesman said after interactions and discussions between the team and the publishers, the revisions, ranging from "textbook" content, the use of words and sentences, pictures, cartoons to the arrangement of layout, had been made entirely by the publishers themselves.
READ MORE: HKSAR govt plans to overhaul liberal studies
The spokesman stressed that publishers have the responsibility to review textbook contents regularly and to revise and improve textbook contents continuously as and when necessary.
The spokesman was quoted as saying in the press release, "Whether the National Security Law exists or not, textbooks should not have any contents which are against the law. With the implementation of the National Security Law, textbook contents should be reviewed in order to cover relevant materials of the subject and enable students to understand the law correctly. Meanwhile, the EDB has earlier issued preliminary guidelines to schools on the implementation of the National Security Law. We will also develop relevant teaching resources and teacher training courses to support schools and teachers."
The EDB pledged to remain in close contact with various stakeholders and provide students with quality learning materials.
Copyright 1995 - 2023. All rights reserved. The content (including but not limited to text, photo, multimedia information, etc) published in this site belongs to China Daily. Without written authorization from China Daily, such content shall not be republished or used in any form.
HONG KONG NEWS