Sunday, 12 August 2012

國民教育

今天才來談國民教育,可能有點晚了,但我其實不吐不快。然而這件事牽涉的事情太多、太複雜,不做一點功課,沒有深思熟慮,只會人云亦云,那還寫來幹甚麼?

首先表明立場:我原則上贊成推行德育與國民教育,但反對以香港政府建議的指引和方式來實施。原因很簡單,因為沒有必要,而且教育當局根本不知何謂德育與國民教育,課程指引一味堆砌概念用語,敷衍塞責,令人齒冷。我不知道--也不想揣測--當局推行國民教育的真正目的,但看《德育與國民教育科課程指引(小一至中六)》的第一章第一節,已知袞袞諸公,俱是庸碌無能、尸位素餐之輩。且看這一段:

「德育及國民教育是學校課程的重要元素,各學習領域/科目,例如:小學常識科、初中生活與社會課程、高中通識教育科等,從不同領域及層面,加深學生對相關知識、技能、價值觀和態度的認識和掌握。隨著社會轉變,不同文化和資訊衝擊青少年的價值觀,各界對學校加強品德培育的訴求愈來愈強烈;加上國家迅速發展及「全球化」的影響,令社會普遍認同德育及國民教育,對學生未來發展有重要影響。」

既然小學常識科、初中生活與社會課程、高中通識教育科等,均已涵蓋德育與國民教育的「重要元素」,敢問為何還要在小一至中六把德育與國民教育獨立成科?課程內容與現有的科目有何不同?如何確保內容不會重複,以免浪費人力物力?至於「各界對學校加強品德培育的訴求愈來愈強烈;加上國家迅速發展及『全球化』的影響,令社會普遍認同德育及國民教育,對學生未來發展有重要影響」云云,亦無任何證據支持,連民意調查結果也欠奉,敢問「各界」指的是誰?包括姑奶奶麼?

課程分為五個範疇,分別是個人、家庭、社群、國家、世界。引起最大爭議的正是「國家」的部分,小學、初中與高中的內容重點各有不同。其學習目標包括:

  1. 從認識國家的山川地貌、天然資源、古蹟文物等,提升對國家的歸屬感;
  2. 體會國家當代發展,培養反思精神,建立國民身分認同;
  3. 從追溯中國傳統習俗和自己/同儕的祖籍及家鄉,萌發對國家、家鄉、居住地的歸屬感;
  4. 向國家不同領域的傑出人物借鏡,學習他們的品格情操,體會延續與承傳;
  5. 從關心國家自然資源的運用及環境生態的保育,培養珍愛自然、保護國家生態的態度;
  6. 從了解國家與香港發展的緊密聯繫,以及兩地在合作發展歷程面對的困難及解決方法,體現同根同心的情懷;
  7. 汲取中華文化的精髓,活學活用,在生活中實踐美德與文化修養;
  8. 從歷史發展加深對國情的掌握,體會探索與開拓的過程,從而了解改善方向,擴闊視野,鞏固國民身份認同;
  9. 從了解國家於自然資源保育所付出的努力與取得的成就,反思其局限與挑戰,關心國家可持續發展的方向;
  10. 從欣賞中國的文學與藝術,體會當中蘊藏的意趣及精神,提升國民素質;
  11. 以歷史視野了解國情,體會多元文化並存的特色,鑑古知今,並承擔個人作為國民應盡的責任。

不必高談甚麼政治哲學的理論,只要靜心細想,便知上述課程目標提到的「國家」、「中國」、「中華」等詞,三者涵義均不相同。即使是「國家」,放諸每一項目標的語境中,含意也有分別。例如第一項有關山川地理的目標,「國家」可以泛指幅員遼闊的中國大陸,也可以指中華人民共和國領土。但第二項目標「國家的當代發展」,明顯是指中華人民共和國,而非地理上、文化上的中國。耐人尋味的是,為何談及「傳統習俗」(第三項)、「文化」(第七項)和「文學與藝術」(第十項)時,不用「國家」,而用「中國」或「中華」?這是否暗示,《課程指引》所提到的「中國」與「國家」,本質上有其分別?「國民教育」所指的「國民」,是「中國」或是「國家」的人民?

由此可見,《課程指引》中的「國家」概念模糊,可以隨著語境改變而有不同的詮釋,而這正是多少香港人惶恐不安的根本原因。我們深知內地與香港對「國家」的理解南轅北轍,語焉不詳,含糊其辭,無異於留下破綻,讓人乘虛而入。歸根究柢,這固然是香港人普遍恐共、反共的情緒作祟,但觀乎中共政權失信於民,劣跡斑斑,香港人始終無法放下成見,也不盡是英國殖民統治者潛移默化的結果。

正如馬國明早前在《Cup》雜誌撰文指出,近代「國家」的概念源於西方,中國自古以來沒有相同的觀念。清末梁啟超〈少年中國說〉一文,已指出「且我中國疇昔,豈嘗有國家哉?不過有朝廷耳!」一語道破中國與西方在「國家」概念上的分歧。時至今日,中共仍以政權(即古之朝廷也)等同國家。一九四九年中共執政,連國旗、貨幣也要重新創立,為甚麼?可能因為國民黨色彩太濃厚,與中共政權無涉。問題是,國家和政權可以混同麼?為甚麼國旗要和執政黨掛鉤?不難想像,日後若是改朝換代,今日的五星紅旗和人民幣都可能棄如敝屣。

其實中文裡的「國家」,在英文至少有country、nation和state之分,每個字各有所指。手上的工具書International Relations: The Key Concepts在nation-state條下,一開始就闡述nation與state之間的區別:

Nations and states may seem identical, but they are not. States govern people in a territory with boundaries. They have laws, taxes, officials, currencies, postal services, police and (usually) armies. They wage war, negotiate treaties, put people in prison, and regulate life in thousands of ways. They claim sovereignty within their territory. By contrast, nations are groups of people claiming common bonds like language, culture, and historical identity. Some groups claiming to be nations have a state of their own, like the French, Dutch, Egyptians, and Japanese. Others want a state but do not have one: Tibetans, Chechnyans, and Palestinians, for example. The Karen claim to be a nation trapped within the state of Burma/Myanmar. The Sioux are a nation within the boundaries of the United States. Each of these nations has its own special territory, rights, laws, and culture, but not statehood. Some imagined nations are larger than states or cross-state boundaries. The Arab nation embraces more than a dozen states, while the nation of the Kurds take in large areas of four states.

在中文的語境中,nation可以指民族,也可以指國家。例如聯合國的英文名稱,正是United Nations,而不是United States。但這個「國家」,正如Benedict Anderson在其名著Imagined Communities: Reflections on the Origin and Spread of Nationalism所言,是某個族群的人對彼此擁有共同歷史、文化根源的想像。具體而言,即使我們不認識廣州或北京每一個市民,但我們都會相信大家來自同一個祖宗、承襲同一個文化淵源。這也是香港大多數市民所認同的「中國」,它是一個想像出來而得到想像者認同和參與的文化形態,不是任何政治實體,既不是唐宋元明清,也不是中華民國或中華人民共和國;但state多指國家體制或政權。政權可以更迭,但民族要滅絕卻沒那麼容易。中國目前就由兩個不同的政權來管治,以上述源於西方的國家概念來描述,即是一個nation、兩個states。

「國民教育」一詞,顯然是譯自英語的national education,而不是state education。只要釐清nation與state的分別,就明白《課程指引》的學術基礎多麼粗疏與薄弱,香港人對國民教育的疑慮也不是無的放矢。那些所謂「洗腦」的憂慮和狐疑,正是源於我們不信任中共政權,覺得他們會藉著國民教育為其政權歌功頌德。北京當權者和香港政府那些趨炎附勢之徒,似乎到現在還沒弄明白這一點,或者根本不願意面對現實。他們始終迷信保持經濟增長,就足以讓「搵食至上」的香港人噤若寒蟬。這一招,對於攀附政權的巨賈財閥或許管用,但對於升斗小民卻只能是火上加油。我們雖然崇尚實際,卻從來不是見利忘義之徒。我們的父祖輩當年離鄉背井,流落這個蕞爾小島落地生根,或多或少都是因為逃避中共政權的威福。我們土生土長的一代,從小耳濡目染,都是當年內地此起彼落的政治運動,如何令生靈塗炭、禮教蕩然。我們生長於異國的殖民地,卻從來沒有忘記自己是中國人。只是我們心目中的中國,是擁有五千年歷史,與埃及、印度和巴比倫同樣傲視世界的璀璨文明,是每一個炎黃子孫引以為榮的錦繡山河,卻不是一時一地的執政者。我們批評政府、攻擊當權者,因為我們都熱愛這片土地,希望早日實現長治久安,自由富足。如果有人認為批評政府就是不愛國,那真是冤哉枉也,只是我們愛國的方式,並非任何當權者所喜聞樂見而已。

多年來,香港人對中共政權的恐懼、質疑和反感,一直得不到有效的紓解,反而因為內地層出不窮的政治事件和管治缺陷,加上本地傳媒和政黨煽風點火,愈來愈鞏固、愈來愈難以釋除。當然,一個巴掌拍不響,中共政權固然責無旁貸,香港人在回歸前後始終沒有坦誠、深入地反省自己對中共的態度,審視香港與內地的關係及其歷史淵源,一味以自己深信不疑的一套強加於人(捫心自問,那何嘗不是英國和美國長期「洗腦」的結果?),結果造成今天難以拆解的困局。我們不信任中共,但中共既是現時中國的執政者,香港主權落入其手,已是事實。我們應該怎樣與內地相處,怎樣面對這個我們內心深處不認同但又不得不與之周旋的政權,是香港人一直逃避和忽略的課題。

至於國民教育,當局始終沒有解釋清楚不管是否與現有科目重複,執意要把國民教育獨立成科的原因,還有《課程指引》所指的「國家」又是甚麼。傳媒、家長也一直沒有深究,只知遊行抗議、寫信聲討,可是他們知不知道自己反對的是甚麼?為甚麼要反對?「洗腦」是憂慮還是事實?似乎一樣無人問津。坦白說,對於一意孤行的政府,和平遊行、寫信又有甚麼效用?因為要上班而無暇照顧孩子的「實際需要」,連支持罷課的勇氣也沒有,又怎能期望長期與民脫節的政府改弦易轍?

其實,最有效、最合適的國民教育,莫過於中國歷史和文學。錢穆先生在《國史大綱》扉頁早已告誡閱其書之讀者,必須秉持下列信念:

「當信任何一國之國民,尤其是自稱知識在水平以上之國民,對其本國已往歷史,應該略有所知。否則最多只算一有知識的人,不能算一有知識的國民。

「所謂對其本國已往歷史略有所者,尤必附隨一種對其本國已往歷史之溫情與敬意。否則只算知道了一些外國史,不得云對本國史有知識。」

可是中國歷史科,早已消亡於教育當局袞袞諸公之手,納入了通識教育之中。當日政府無視我輩腐儒的淺見,強行取消中國歷史科,今日反對國民教育的家長、學生、議員和傳媒又在哪裡?中國文學呢,則在苟延殘喘,淪為英文程度較差學生的護身符。中國語文呢,早已面目全非,取消了指定課文,學校各師各法給學生的課文,公開考試更是不屑一顧,急功近利的學生和家長自然覺得無關痛癢。須知中文不同於其他拼音語文,若不熟讀幾段古文、唐詩、宋詞、明清傳奇小說,詞彙怎會豐富?文筆怎會優秀?表達能力怎會好?對本國歷史漠不關心、一知半解,對本國語文毫無溫情與敬意,只視為「夠用就好,不必深究」的謀生技倆,如今授人以柄,被逼接受所謂的國民教育,又是誰的過錯?

17 comments:

  1. Anonymous6:02 am

    梁振英執政,要推行四大政治任務,其中一項就是洗腦的國情教育。
    梁振英的兒女,都在英國受教育,政務司司長林鄭月娥的丈夫和兒子,亦是在英國生活。其他三司十二局的問責官員,子女都應該是在外國受教育為主,偶有仍在香港的,都入讀國際學校,不用受國情教育所荼毒。
    在這樣的背景下,梁班子就忍心香港的學生要接受這套中國模式的洗腦工程?
    己所不欲,勿施於人。孔子說這是可以當下做到的,值得終身執行。
    今日為官,難道只能夠埋沒良心? Source: DBC Wong Wai Man http://www.myaudiocast.com/wwm/
    = = =

    Five thousand years ago we had Confucius teaching on mutual respect. Today the core value in many higher education institutes focus on getting citation records for doctoral students supervised by greedy professors. Education funds are channelled to those who serve the party with hidden agenda for personal gains.

    What was the reason for taking away history from the syllabus? Should we not re-introduce basic learning skills on reading and understanding histories and the lessons learned?

    If primary students are spoon fed with the ideology to worship a ruling party with a communal approach without questioning the root causes for the tragedies that have taken place during the Cultural Revolution.

    The majority of HK people is still very much concerned about the kind of education their future generations will receive.

    The national massacre in China had millions of good hearted scholars who were labelled by brain-washed students as landlords. The same massacre will take place in HK one of these days.

    We hope the voting of 9 September for LegCo will bring in sufficient numbers of members who will really steer the Special Administration of HK to blend in well with Mainland by 2047 whilst retaining our Chinese Culture individual thinking and analysis on what is right and what is wrong.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Anonymous6:24 am

    I have expressed my opinions many times in the comments posts in Christ Leung’s blog 子貓物語~~附庸風雅

    It is my humble belief that the so called 國民教育 is doomed to fail. I can testify personally to that. In Canada I have opportunities of meeting many mainlanders and we discussed issues of China frankly. I have no language barrier to communicate with them in Mandarin and know China well enough for an intelligent conversation. Many of the mainlanders are/were Communist Party members and some even held a secretary position. As you may know that in China political education is a mandatory course from primary school to university. These people have all grown up under the red flags. However, in spite of years of “brain wash” they all turned their back to China and chose to stay in Canada. Once I mentioned political courses to a guy who simply sneer the political education that he had in China.

    國民教育 is basically a political education course that no HK government officials dare to call what it is.

    What can HK people do when facing the irresistible direction of gravity? Protest? Rally in the streets? Condemn it in the cyber space? They are all good in terms of venting the anger and frustration. However, at the end of the day, when the new school terms begins and the parents all have to be busy making a living, the issue will fade to the back burner.

    In the long run it will be more productive for teachers to teach it perfunctorily to avoid the wrath of the authority and in the meantime teach students supplementary knowledge on Chinese history and current affairs. Parents should also acquire for themselves this knowledge to answer questions from their children. It is not good enough to solely rely on the schools for your children’s education.

    Teaching of Chinese history is always a tricky issue in HK. In the colonial days no modern Chinese history (1911 to present) was taught in schools. A canonised text book is difficult to come by while a wealth of information is available in HK. Students will need a really hard-working knowledgeable teacher to guide them through.

    Samson,
    Ontario, Canada

    ReplyDelete
  3. Empathy is virtually extinct these days, especially among the rich and powerful. Most of us tend to forget the fact that pitilessness is often one of the key attributes to success. With empathy you can't tolerate ruthless profiteering and unscrupulous power brokerage. Flawless morality among blood-sucking corporations and politicians is too much to ask for. This is why Jiang Zemin was quite right in saying we Hong Kong people are too simple and sometimes naive.
    God knows why Chinese history was stripped off the syllabus. But few people ever noticed, let alone complained. Rather, I have heard parents and students celebrating, claiming that they no longer have to waste time on a useless and daunting subject that requires nothing other than memorising. How WRONG!

    ReplyDelete
  4. When I was in secondary school in the mid-1980s, modern Chinese history was taught in Form 3. The same historical period was also covered in a slightly different light in the world history syllabus. Perhaps I should celebrate for my luck now, because my teachers at a convent school didn't have any problem teaching and discussing sensitive issues in class.
    But you see, parents in Hong Kong, even those of my age and education level, are unwittingly giving up or outsourcing their responsibility of their children's education. I have friends teaching at secondary schools and universities who often complain about parents blasting out at them for not teaching their children well. Some parents are so outrageous about national education not just because the problematic guidelines and unspeakable political motives, but also because they know they are not capable, knowledgeable, or even reluctant to take up the responsibility to neutralise and resist what their children are going to learn at school.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Anonymous2:16 am

    Is it too early to think about 2047? Perhaps not. I suspect the former British colonial masters thinking about the exit plan from HK since 1949. And they gradually got more serious since 1959 after the rightist riot crushed. After 1967 many of the big wigs in HK and London might ask themselves what they were going to do with HK 20, 30, or 40 years from now. The most serious action being taken was the legislation passed in London after Idi Amin of Uganda expelled hundreds of thousands of British subjects from his country. To where? Britain, of course. That got the Brits really nervous about HK British subjects who may face the same fate. They think early with many plans. The final result may not be as original planned. However, their bottom line was assured i.e. no massive exodus to Britain.

    It comes to this time 35 years before 2047. Who knows whether the 國民教育 is in the long term plan of the Imperial Court in Beijing? How fast is it going to be implemented? Would that be less painful for the HK people to swallow the bitter medicine in smaller doses rather than a big gush in 2047? The thinking of the Imperial Court is not going to change. In fact the feudal system of governance has not changed for 2000 years in China. We can only change ourselves to suit.

    “我們應該怎樣內地相處,怎樣面對這個我們內心深處不認同但又不得不與之周旋的政權,是香港人一直逃避和忽略的課題。”You do have a point in this statement.
    I am not sure if you have 2047 in mind. HK people certainly need to know the devil in order to deal with the devil. To stubbornly resist the “brain wash” may not be the best approach. To widen the knowledge on history, culture and society will be a more desirable strategy.

    Apparently the Imperial Court did not name HK a SAR (Slowly Adjustable Region) for nothing.

    Samson,
    Ontario, Canada

    ReplyDelete
  6. From what I read about the history of the British Empire, the Brits are not as smart and thinking-ahead as we may tend to believe. The history of the British Empire was much more a bunch of coincidence and ad hoc decision-making compelled and restricted by the flow of events. The British administration of Hong Kong is no different.
    On the question of 1997 though, I suspect they started thinking about an exit strategy or sort out the options not in 1949, but after the 1967 riot, which was obviously a spill-over of the Cultural Revolution. This also explains why MacLehose is considered by the local people the greatest governor of all. As a recent book on declassified documents of the British government reveals, all the initiatives for good governance in 1970s were meant to increase Britain's bargaining power on the future of Hong Kong. The economic prosperity, civic freedom and good governance that we take so much pride were little more than the intended spill-over effect.

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  7. Anonymous9:07 pm

    香港中學的中史科根本不能提升學生對文化中國的認知與認同,更不能培養學生成為有質素的中國國民。我在中學唸了五年中史,大部份時間都是花在強記和背誦,班中該科成績最好的同學,都是出名記憶力過人和書寫速度快的(即是那些在校際常識問答比賽搶答表現出色的學生)。由於我年輕時短暫記憶力還不差。所以不論校內和會考,該科都有不錯的成績。但是,我對該科完全提不起學習的興趣,我們校內該科成績最好的同學,也只是將它視作取A的途徑,一升中六便放棄了它。香港中學的中史科課程內容過份著重政治史實的內容,差不多完全忽略當時中國的社會和經濟情況((例如:我唸中史會認為南宋時期,宋室國勢積弱,常受外侮,人民生活一定十分困苦。可是,後來看到有關那時期航海歷史的考古發掘紀錄片,才知道那時南宋的生產力很高,與北方的遼、金雖時有交戰,但貿易頻繁,兩國國民關係其實頗佳。人民普遍生活水平其實大大高於那時代世界其他地方)。我唸了五年中史所得的有關知識和見識,不及我觀看NHK攝制,介紹故宮博物院歷代藏品的紀錄片。

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  8. 那是因為課程編排欠佳,教不得其法,但無損科目本身的存在價值。何況學校只能提供基本的知識,深入分析和評價還待自己繼續發掘。如今因噎廢食,並不可取。
    正如現在這科「德育與國民教育」,難道不應該培養孩子品德?問題是為甚麼要把德育和國民教育掛鉤?國民教育又應否獨立成科?認識本國歷史是基本責任,也有助培養國民意識,根本不應廢棄,關鍵在於如何改善課程內容和教授方法而已。香港人大都覺得歷史沉悶,視之為只靠死記硬背、與我何干的洪水猛獸,真是不幸。歷史是活的,只是給香港的課程設計者和某些教師弄死了。

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  9. Anonymous1:15 am

    I am curious to find out what you learned about “Crusade” and Inquisition” in a convent school world history classroom.

    History is a controversial subject to study. I would not go that far to declare that histories are all lies agreed upon. However, we have see winners’ history and losers’ history among all other types. John Kennedy was assassinated in 1963. Since then how many books have been published to historicise that event? They all claim to tell the truth in history. The only fact we know for sure is that JFK was killed on that day. The rest is history.

    HK possibly is in a trickier situation about modern Chinese history. History of the Rights versus history of the Lefts. It seems to me almost impossible to come up with a textbook for high school students. Teachers may have their own opinions and experience to tell students. It is no wonder that no modern Chinese history was taught in most HK schools. The school administrations do not want a war between two camps of parents.

    Samson,
    Ontario, Canada


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  10. Very little. The syllabus of world history at Form 1-3 (junior high) is little more than a very brief and selective sketch of European history. A little about the independence of the Thirteen States in North America as well but that's it. At Form 4-5 world history starts with the Vienna Settlement until the Second World War. In matriculation (Form 6-7) the modern history of China, Japan and India were also included.
    Yes, history is at the end of the day a war of words and interpretations. Strictly speaking there is no such thing as "truth" when it comes to the past. History, defined as the narrative of the past, is like a jigsaw puzzle that can never be complete. The more evidence we find, the harder we think, the clearer the picture will become. That's all.
    I'm not advocating a very advanced course for the teenagers. They probably can't handle it anyway. The point of studying history, especially national history, is to provide some basic knowledge of what happened in the past. At least everyone of us need to know the sequence of dynastic changes and a handful of key persons in each, for example. We should always make it clear that the history course at school is not a final verdict about the past but an introduction. Students should find the answers to any question of interest on their own. The quest itself is fun, inquisitive and a brilliant training of the best minds.
    Writing modern history of which the impact still lingers on is by all means difficult, not just in Hong Kong or China but anywhere. We need the greatest minds to write textbook chapters on these, but unfortunately we have none.

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  11. Anonymous4:14 am

    “Revolution can neither be exported nor imported.” This is the defence that the propaganda machine in Beijing responds to the world for the criticism that Beijing is involved in the revolutionary activities in the third world countries. According to this theory revolution can only begin, grow and explode into action within a country when the internal condition demands.

    In the same token, replacing “revolution” with “national education”, Beijing and its HK proxy violate the very principle that they believe in.

    That theory may have its point. That is why no significant revolutionary activities in the Western democratic countries. And the Chinese Communist Party was able to expand in China after its founding in 1921 because the national conditions warranted its success.

    At this moment HK is barren for the Beijing style “National Education”. It is easy to conclude that the “National Education” is going to fail and fail badly.

    Samson,
    Ontario, Canada

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  12. Excellent point. Yet rhetoric is rhetoric. I don't really think the Beijing leaders believe in what they say. They just want the subjects, not national citizens per se, to believe in something that they don't really give a damn.
    Personally I agree that even national education is implemented as it is in Hong Kong, few would be converted. The counteracting forces are simply too strong to be ignored.

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  13. Anonymous12:44 am

    奇怪, 為什麼是中國歷史呢 ? 為什麼不是香港歷史呢 ? 1842年至今, 這塊小地方發生什麼事, 對我更有親切感, 中國的也可以讀, 但時空始終沒有那麼接近, 為什麼不是一個在香港活著的人, 坐著述說他身邊與外面世界發生的事情呢 ?

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  14. 香港歷史自然應該認識,但香港歷史無法脫離中國歷史的脈絡。讀史,以大觀小之餘,也要見微知著,眼光、視野可以調節,卻不能局限。為甚麼不可以兩邊兼顧?為甚麼要把中國和香港看成對立?不是相輔相成、喜樂與共?

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  15. 請問可否在敝網(國民教育爭議資料庫 http://mne-dispute-db.blogspot.hk/)轉載這篇文章?謝謝。

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. 沒問題,請註明出處便是。

      Delete

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