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LCQ7: Subject of Citizenship and Social Development
     Following is a question by the Hon Cheung Kwok-kwan and a written reply by the Secretary for Education, Mr Kevin Yeung, in the Legislative Council today (August 25):
     Starting from Secondary Four in the coming school year, the subject of Liberal Studies (LS subject) in the senior secondary curriculum will be replaced by the subject of Citizenship and Social Development (CSD subject). It has been reported that the Education Bureau (EDB) has envisaged that the first batch of textbooks for CSD subject will be submitted for review in November this year and included in the "Recommended Textbook List" in April next year, and hence such textbooks cannot be published in time for schools to select and use at the beginning of the coming school year. When teaching CSD subject, schools need to use for the time being bridging teaching materials which have been adapted from textbooks for LS subject by publishers or use school-based teaching materials. In this connection, will the Government inform this Council:

(1) whether prior submission of the aforesaid bridging and school-based teaching materials to the EDB for review is required; if not, of the measures in place to ensure that such teaching materials are in line with the objectives of CSD subject;

(2) as the EDB indicated in June this year that it was developing learning and teaching resources for taking forward the curriculum of CSD subject, and that it would gradually upload teaching materials onto the web-based platform for use by schools, of the timetable and progress of the relevant work; and

(3) of the measures in place to expedite the review of the textbooks for CSD subject and further enrich the resources on the web-based platform before the textbooks are available for use, so as to assist teachers in teaching the subject in an accurate manner? 

     The Education Bureau (EDB) announced in April this year that Citizenship and Social Development (CS) will replace senior secondary Liberal Studies (LS) starting from Secondary Four in the 2021/22 school year. The Curriculum Development Council has, in collaboration with the Hong Kong Examinations and Assessment Authority, formulated the CS Curriculum and Assessment (C&A) Guide to explain the curriculum rationale and aims. Various chapters in the guide also elaborate on the curriculum framework, curriculum planning, learning and teaching, assessment as well as the use of learning and teaching resources. The EDB has also organised professional development programmes for teachers, developed diversified learning and teaching resources continuously and disbursed a one-off grant to support schools in implementing CS in the new school year.
     Our reply to questions (1) to (3) raised by the Hon Cheung Kwok-kwan is as follows:
     The EDB has announced that a "Recommended Textbook List" will be compiled for CS and has provided the Textbook Writing Guidelines for publishers to help them understand the curriculum framework and contents of the subject as well as the criteria for writing CS textbooks. The reviewed textbooks for Secondary Four to Five are expected to be published next year for adoption by schools in the 2022/23 school year. However, it takes time to develop quality textbooks. As such, the EDB is developing diversified learning and teaching resources for schools' adoption before reviewed textbooks are available on the market. Currently, the learning and teaching resources for "Hong Kong under 'one country, two systems'", one of the three themes of the subject, have been uploaded continuously to the CS web-based resource platform (cs.edb.hkedcity.net) for use by schools. They include presentation slides for teaching, illustrative examples for teachers' reference, worksheets, and online self-learning courses specifically designed for students, which cover most of the key focuses of the content of the Secondary Four curriculum. Among these resources, there are 12 sets of presentation slides developed specifically for teachers, providing subject knowledge related to the topics to facilitate teachers' accurate acquisition of the curriculum content and interpretation of the learning focuses during lesson preparation. In addition, since the curriculum of CS is formulated with reference to that of LS, some contents of the learning and teaching materials developed for LS by the EDB are still relevant to CS, and can be used with appropriate adaptation by schools. The above-mentioned learning and teaching resources have been uploaded to the EDB website.
     Apart from selecting learning and teaching resources developed by the EDB, teachers may also select other suitable teaching materials, making adaptation to the content of the teaching materials, or even developing school-based materials on their own in accordance with the curriculum aims and objectives, and the abilities and learning needs of their students. This is considered part of the professional duties of teachers. As regards the teaching materials for LS which were revised through participating in the professional consultancy service provided by the EDB in 2019 and in accordance with the EDB's recommendations, in principle and with the names of the materials remaining unchanged, they can be used as reference materials for CS with appropriate adaptation or tailoring. Such reference materials are not textbooks and are not required to be submitted to the EDB for review under the existing mechanism. Therefore, they will not be included in the "Recommended Textbook List" of CS.
     With regard to curriculum management, the CS C&A Guide has reminded the panel chairpersons/middle managers, in the light of curriculum implementation, including the content and quality of school-based learning and teaching materials as well as the learning and teaching effectiveness, to provide guidance and support, maintain ongoing communication and discussion with subject teachers, and help them teach the subject in accordance with the requirements stipulated in the C&A Guide to enable students to grasp accurate knowledge and cultivate positive values, attitudes and behaviours. School-based learning and teaching resources related to the constitutional order, including the Constitution and the Basic Law education as well as national security education, should be archived for retention for no less than two school years so that such resource materials for the relevant key stages of learning can be made available to the school sponsoring body, the school management or the EDB for inspection when needed.
     The EDB has also been, through various channels, such as circular memoranda, seminars and school visits, elucidating to schools the requirements and criteria for the selection of learning and teaching resources (including textbooks and school-based teaching materials) and emphasising that teachers of various subjects should be professional and prudent in the selection of teaching resources. The school management has the responsibility to understand and monitor the implementation of the curricula of different subjects, including the content and quality of school-based learning and teaching materials as well as the classroom learning and teaching effectiveness, to ensure that the teachers can implement the curricula and teach the subjects in line with the curriculum rationale, aims and learning focuses. These are the powers conferred to the school-based management and also the responsibilities of the school management. Upon receipt of a complaint, the EDB will definitely handle the case seriously by reviewing if the school-based materials are arranged in a professional manner with full justifications and whether negligence is found in the monitoring mechanism of the school concerned. As always, the EDB will continue to keep in view the implementation of the CS curriculum, including whether the contents and quality of school-based teaching materials, the assessment design, and the teaching contents and strategies align with the rationale and aims of the curriculum, through channels such as inspections and curriculum development visits. The EDB will also give professional advice to help schools improve their quality of learning and teaching.
Ends/Wednesday, August 25, 2021
Issued at HKT 11:35
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