Cut core subjects to give more time for sciences, says Academy of Sciences report

Cut core subjects to give more time for sciences, says Academy of Sciences report

A majority of secondary school principals say core subjects take up too much time, so sciences are getting passed over

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Tsui Lap-chee, ASHK president.
Photo: Edward Wong/SCMP

Core subjects of the senior secondary school curriculum should be trimmed, and more courses should be offered to students interested in advanced mathematics and science subjects, says the former president of the University of Hong Kong, Tsui Lap-chee.

The Academy of Sciences of Hong Kong released a report on Thursday that shows only 54 per cent of students took science subjects in last year’s DSE.

The study surveyed 154 secondary school principals and interviewed around 100 people including parents, principals, Education Bureau and Hong Kong Examinations and Assessment Authority representatives. Fifty-five per cent of the principals surveyed said core subjects took up more than 60 per cent of their teaching time, so students don’t get enough time for electives.

The academy says core subject requirement should be reduced to allow more time for additional electives such as science.

One secondary school biology teacher, surnamed Lei, agreed that sciences should get more attention.

“Many students lack basic scientific knowledge, and that could hurt the city’s technological development,” Lei said. “Students don’t need to be star inventors, but they should at least know enough to offer creative ideas to the technology and innovation industry.”

A total of 71 per cent of the respondents suggested reducing core subjects, and 89 per cent suggested reviewing the importance of liberal studies.

But YP cadet Hazel Kong Wing-hang, who did her DSE last year, said liberal studies plays a vital role in her university studies, as it has helped her develop critical thinking and essay-writing skills. “Liberal studies has raised my awareness about local and global issues,” Hazel said. “We shouldn’t attribute the decline of our competitive edge to a lack of science-focused subjects.”

Staff writer, with additional reporting by Ben Pang

This article appeared in the Young Post print edition as
Cut core subjects for more science: report

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