Education Journal


1989.第17卷第2期(Vol. 17 No. 2).pp. 186–192



On the Problems of Hong Kong School System: An Anaylsis from the Perspective of Some Basic Principles

李瑞全(Shui-Chuen LEE)




This paper gives an analysis of some of the guiding principles of the construction of school system from the perspectives of educational aims, social justice, pluralistic education, the basic principle of service to the needs of children and the forms of examination and then discusses some of the problems related to the school system of Hong Kong. Basically, school system is just a means for the achievement of educational aims, it should serve the latter and should not let other considerations such as economic efficiency distort our educational aims of providing an education for the healthy development of the personality, understanding and certain daily skill of the child. The use of English rather than the mother tongue language as teaching in the high school of Hong Kong is an example of the endless harm to the majority of high school children caused by the socalled economic and political consideration. In the realm of social justice, school system should not propagate the inequality of cultural capital between children of different social background, otherwise it will be against the justice of education. The scheme of direct grant for the privatization of high school proposed by the Third Roport of the Education Commission has to face precisely this charge of imputting social injustice into the Hong Kong education system. However, the precise direction of the flow of educational efficiency as a result of the implementation of the scheme has to be estimated before we could give a correct verdict on the issue. As to the old problem of streaming, the streaming between different types of school is easily falling prey to the inequality of cultural capital between children, while the streaming between majors lacks any rational ground. From the point of educational administration school system should be unified, while pluralistic schools and curricula should be encouraged to cope with the needs of the child in relation to his physiological, psychological and intellectual development, which is the basic principle of serving the needs of the child. Consequently, the fewer the number of examination on the course of education the better the school system serve the aims of education and the better it could provide for further development of the child in the future. And, it is argued that the present matriculation system of Hong Kong should be abolished. This point is especially obvious when we realize that examination should be qualifying rather than selective, because the latter inevitably leads to examination oriented teaching and learning and bound to produce large number of losers. The Hong Kong matriculation examinations is again an example. With the dissolution of the matriculation system, the controversial of the restructure of higher educational system would be easily settled.