December 6, 2007

It has been revealed that the language-of-instruction policy has failed to develop and produce truly bilingual students (Rethink of language policy urged, SCMP 06 December 2007). The report also revealed that Hong Kong students do not have self-esteem, lack motivation to study and that students perform better in their mother tongue.

This revelation must be taken seriously by the Education Bureau to review the current streaming system in order to tackle the problem of attaining the goal of biligualism. This task itself is difficult but a more profound problem as revealed by the report is the general phenomenon that Hong Kong students lack the desire to seek out knowledge for their own satisfaction.

There are many hard-working students in Hong Kong, but they generally do not study for the sake of knowledge-acquisition. Rather it is mainly done to pass examination and to enter university. There is nothing wrong with this approach as the students will also learn knowledge during the process. However, it is more important to make the students to develop their own passion for study, for knowledge acquisition to their own satisfaction.

This more fundamental approach can be beneficial in at least two ways. Firstly, it will boost the students self-esteem after they develop an intellectual edge over others. Secondly, a passion for something can possibly last for the rest of a person’s life. The student will be able to set his own knowledge direction, and this can affect his future career path.

The problem is: what can we do to stir up this desire? Does the Education Bureau ever think of such approach? If not, I would strongly urge them to do so, for the benefit of the students and the society.

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