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Wednesday 24-Aug-2016
師夷之長
因緣際會,認識了任教中大歷史的Professor Mike。當然是假名,各位不必google。那天跟他吃過一頓飯,彷彿在歷史洪流中遊走了一趟,明白了一些事,也多了一些問題。
 
那忙碌的週六晚,在Keyaki暗暗的燈光底下,點了一枝嘉美心,吃著串燒飲著酒,和Professor Mike暢談起來。家事國事天下事,當真事事關心。
 
幾杯落肚,稍有醉意,話題開始跳脫。
 
「Professor Mike,如何從歷史角度看今天香港教育?」我喜歡向高人挑機,通常他們有獨特一套看世界的方法。
 
Professor Mike想了想,豪氣乾了那一小杯清酒,像醉酒佬。
 
「Samuel,你九歲就去英國,唔知有無聽過洋務運動?」有。少少啦,最記得一句「師夷之長技以制夷」,好有道理但聽落有少少un耳。
 
「當今教育面對洋務運動同樣問題。」再乾一杯,看來是千杯不醉。「當年中國最具代表性的『洋務三子』是曾國藩、李鴻章、左宗棠。提出中國要富強,就要學習西洋鬼子的船堅炮利。結果中國引進外國工業生產無式,改革軍隊,廣開衙門,希望追趕列強國力。」
 
然後呢?
 
「然後一樣搞唔掂,輸哂。」
 
點解呢?
 
Mike sir又乾一杯。「我用例子答你。有無聽過明治維新?」都有,不過比洋務運動更加唔熟。「其實同洋務運動差不多,都是全國性改革,學習西洋工業、教育、軍事等,尤其德國,你知佢地幾friend啦。」然後結果呢?「結果,雖然仍然有財閥政治、土地兼併等問題,但一場甲午戰爭,大概見到真章。」噢,呢個我知。中國慘敗於日本,還被逼簽訂《馬關條約》。
 
咁關教育咩事?耍我太極?
 
「一個成功一個失敗,我看的道理好簡單。心態決定成敗。洋務派雖然引入外國人辦企業、又開呢個局嗰個局,希望學足別國長處加以發揮,但問題就是你覺得un耳那一句『師夷之長』。中國由頭到尾,都只希望學到別國技能,是冷冰冰的『硬實力』,學完就想踢人走。一個『夷』字,知道中國人對西洋鬼子沒多少respect。」
 
「而日本呢?自黑船事件之後,自知實力遠不足外國人,寧可放下尊嚴,都要自強實力。請來外國人幫手不特止,再借外國人培訓本地人才,不能下下輸入外勞,更要本土自強。」
 
「香港教育問題同樣。回歸前沿用英國式教育制度,但回歸十幾年了,要變的都開始變。當家長和社會提出有問題時,教育制度就開始宏調微調,例如334學制,例如請外籍老師教英文Oral。但香港教育核心仍然處於背誦、考試、分數,放不下尊嚴和既定的思想,改革就好難。」
 
嘩,你好野,講咁耐原來借古諷今。
 
「學歷史的意義在於舉一反三。洋務運動可以反映今天的改革,未必一定是教育,可以是社會福利改革,政治改革等等。學習的意義亦在於能否從觀察中汲取教訓,借別人警剔自己。所以好多政治家,leaders,都讀歷史出身。」
 
此刻,眼前呢位半醉的鬼佬,清醒過你、我同好多香港人。係呀,Professor Mike是徹頭徹尾的美國佬,師夷之長,舉一反三,原來咁解。
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Education Experts

Samuel Chan, the winner of Alumni Awards 2017, is the founder of Britannia. He had studied in the UK since the age of 9 for 15 years and achieved his master degree in International Political Economy at University of Warwick. Now he shares his experiences and professional advice in education columns in Hong Kong’s major newspapers.

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Mabel Chan is the Principal Consultant of Britannia. Having studied in both the UK and the US, she is an expert in school matching for overseas education. She writes education columns for Sing Tao Daily and The Standard, and answers questions arising from parents and students patiently.

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MB Cheung, our senior consultant, has been writing education columns for major local newspapers for more than 25 years. With his experience and unique insights, he shares a variety of tips and advice on overseas education for the readers (and DSE students)

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#School Analysis
Considering its reputation, Oundle School may not catch up to Eton, Wycombe Abbey and else top elite schools. However, Oundle’s academic performance is among the best in the United Kingdom. As a traditional top boarding school, Oundle pays huge attentions to student’s holistic development, by providing them diversified extra-curricular activities. In addition, Oundle still implements the House Dining System, which is rarely remaining among uk boarding schools. It is also one of the reasons why Hong Kong parents making a beeline for.
The ratio of teachers and students in Bromsgrove School is 1:8, which is lower than the average among uk boarding schools. In addition, according to my school visit experience, Bromsgrove has the best facilities, that it is undoubtedly one of the best three campuses in the UK. Besides, Bromsgrove spares no expense to provide students comfortable environment, it even invests on the nearby hotel and transfers it into dormitories. As a result, students can possess the “5-star enjoyment” on campus. To conclude, Bromsgrove is definitely a prospective and globalised uk boarding school.
Brighton College is Britain’s premier private school and one of the Hong Kong parents’ favourites. To understand a boarding school, despite of looking at its educational tenet, diversified extra-curricular activities and academics results, it is essential to observe the boldness of the principal. 10 years ago, after Mr. Richard Cairns taking up the duty of the Brighton College’s principal, the school ranking raises from the 150th to the top 20th. In addition to promoting educational reformation, Mr Cairns is such a good principal, that he still strives for maintaining students’ curiosity at the same time.
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