Nearly 80 per cent of teachers support keeping liberal studies as a compulsory subject, according to a survey conducted by the Professional Teachers’ Union. The survey polled around 400 liberal studies teachers between October and December last year.
It found that many teachers were against large reforms to the subject. The survey showed that 63.3 per cent of teachers opposed plans to the subject being graded as a pass or fail, one change that was suggested.
The results of the survey comes after media reports last week that the government may make changes to the liberal studies curriculum. The proposals suggested that liberal studies, compulsory for all HKDSE students, may be made an elective subject instead. There were also suggestions that the subject would no longer be graded on a scale between level one and 5**, and students would instead be given a pass or a fail.
The union, which is the largest organisation of teachers in Hong Kong, said it would oppose rash changes to the curriculum and assessment of liberal studies.
The proposed changes have raised fears that the government is putting less emphasis on critical thinking in local education. Some pro-establishment figures have criticised the subject for allowing teachers to impose their political biases onto students.
Some students believe reforms are necessary.
Ally Chan, 16, from Baptist Lui Ming Choi Secondary School, said liberal studies needed to be changed so that the subject actually encouraged critical thinking.
Eunice Yip, 17, from Pooi To Middle School, said that making the subject optional might be a good thing.
“Liberal studies doesn’t really have a syllabus … but it takes up a very large part of our DSE,” she said, adding that making it an elective would reduce students’ workload.