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中英社評/正確價值觀必須從小培育

學校是教書育人的地方,教是傳播知識,育則是培養正確價值觀和正向思維。教育局昨日向全港中小學公布《價值觀教育課程架構》(試行版),首次將「勤勞」納入首要價值觀,同時進一步強調應從小加強學生的愛國愛港觀念。新架構內容切中了香港所需,對於推動學生建立正確積極的價值觀,具有重要作用。

價值觀是判斷是非對錯、抉擇取捨的標準。當人們對「應不應該這樣做」、「這樣做對不對」進行判斷並付諸行動時,其實就是價值觀在發揮作用。這些年來,香港社會出現一股不好的風氣,例如耽於享樂、好逸惡勞等,說到底就是價值觀出了偏差。例如那種被稱為「躺平主義」的消極人生觀,不僅會導致個人精神萎靡不振,也會使得整個社會向下墜落沉淪。

將「勤勞」列為中小學生的首要價值觀,具有很強的針對性。中華民族以勤勞著稱,中國傳統文化視勤勞為美德,具體到中小學生的日常生活中,就是要勤奮學習,體諒父母的艱辛及尊重勞動階層,積極參與各種勞動並藉此鍛煉強健體魄、磨煉毅力意志,成為自力更生、奮發上進、充滿陽光氣息的新一代。

近年來,在別有用心政客的誤導下,一些學生不是將心思放在學習上,而是熱衷搞政治、美化暴力、傳播虛假及仇恨信息,參與各種違法活動,甚至勾連外力、鼓吹「港獨」等,被捕者中不乏低年級學生,同樣反映價值觀扭曲。前年爆發的修例風波,徹底暴露了香港的深層次問題,其中之一就是教育出了問題。一些教師教育學生時,過分強調個人權利,不講集體責任;過分標榜所謂「批判性思維」,喪失基本的是非對錯;過分推崇西方價值觀,拋棄了中國文化中講究誠信、愛國等基本美德。

價值觀雖然根植於內心,但並非與生俱來,主要是靠後天教育,學校在培養學生正確價值觀方面扮演着重要角色。所謂「三歲看八十」、「七歲定終身」,培養正確價值觀需要從小抓起,小樹苗扶正了,才有機會長成棟樑之材。

培養學生正確價值觀,離不開培養國民身份認同,這絕非亂港勢力所攻擊的「洗腦」。有國才有家,尊重及愛護自己的國家,必要時挺身而出捍衛國家安全,不分中外,古今相同。「先天下之憂而憂,後天下之樂而樂」、「苟利國家生死以,豈因禍福避趨之」,一直是中國知識分子的精神追求,現在的讀書人又豈能例外?作為身處香港的中國人,愛國愛港是天經地義的事情。

有了正確價值觀,人生就有了正確的航向,社會就有了正氣。教育局將此當成大事來推動,方向正確。當然,言教不如身教,老師以身作則,家長積極引導,整個社會樂觀向上,有助學生成為充滿正能量的有為青年。十年樹木,百年樹人,要樹立好的風氣,需要久久為功。

2021-12-01

Correct values must be fostered from childhood

A school is a place to teach and cultivate people. To teach is to impart knowledge while to cultivate is to foster correct values and positive thinking. The Education Bureau yesterday released the Value Education Curriculum Framework (2021) for all primary and secondary schools across the city. It includes diligence as one of the priority values for the first time and further stresses that pupils should be taught from childhood the ideas of patriotism and love of Hong Kong. The new curriculum framework responds to what is needed in Hong Kong. It is of significance for helping students to establish correct and positive values.

Values are criteria to judge what is right or wrong and help make a choice. In fact when people make a judgement on "whether this should be done" or "whether this is right", it is their values that are functioning. These years, there appears some bad mood in Hong Kong society, such as indulgence in pleasure or seeking after comforts while abominating labour. This is in fact a result of our values erring on the side of going astray. For instance, the so-called "lying-flatism" [doing the bare minimum to get by], a passive outlook on life, not only leads a person to become low in spirits but also drags whole society down into degradation.

It is very on point to list diligence as a priority value for primary- and secondary-school students. The Chinese nation is well known for being diligent and traditional Chinese culture regards diligence as a virtue. For practice in daily life, this requires primary- and secondary-school students to learn with assiduity, to understand their parents' arduousness and to respect the working class, to actively engage in all kinds of manual labour and take the opportunity to harden their bodies and strengthening their willpower and stamina, so that they could become a new generation which is self-reliant, enthusiastic to forge ahead and full of sunny aroma.  

In recent years, mislead by some politicians with ulterior motives, some students have not kept their minds on their studies but become keen on taking part in political activities. They have beautifies violence, spread fake and hatred-inciting information, taken part in various kinds of law-breaking activities, and even hooked up with foreign forces and advocated for "independence for Hong Kong", etc. Among the arrestees there are quite many students in the lower grades. This also shows a distortion of values.  The Anti-Extradition Law Amendment Bill turmoil started two years ago fully exposes the deeply-rooted problems in Hong Kong, one of which is that something has gone wrong with our education. Some teachers in their classrooms have over-emphasised personal rights and overlooked collective responsibilities; have over-advertised so-called "critical thinking" out of the elementary value judgement on what is right or wrong; have over-praised Western values while casting aside the elementary virtues in Chinese culture of upholding integrity and patriotism.

While rooted in one's heart, values are by no means in one's blood but mainly nurtured through education. Schools play an important role in nurturing students with correct values.  As a proverb has it that "the child is father of the man", fostering correct values must start from childhood. Only when it is set upright, can a sapling potentially grow to be used as a pillar.

Fostering students with correct values cannot do without nurturing them with their national identity. This is by no means "brain-washing" as smeared by trouble-making elements. Without a country one can hardly have a home. It is a shared value, inside China or outside and in ancient or present times, to respect and cherish one's own country and, when necessary, to throw oneself forward to safeguard national security.  "To be the first to bear hardships and the last to enjoy comforts", "I will do whatever for the benefit of my country by my life or death and never try to evade my duty regardless of my personal weal and woe", these are always the spiritual pursuit of Chinese intellectuals. How could educated people today be exceptional? It is unquestionably right and proper for us, as Chinese nationals living in Hong Kong, to love our country and Hong Kong.

With correct values, a person has correct orientation in life and society has righteousness. The Education Bureau sees this as an important task to accomplish, which is in the correct direction. Needless to say, example is better than precept. It would help students to grow into promising young people full of positive energy, if teachers could live what they teach, parents give positive guidance and whole society become optimistic and progressive. It takes ten years to grow trees but a hundred years to rear people. To establish good social norms, long-standing efforts must be devoted.

01 December 2021

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