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Monday 20-Nov-2017
【蘋果日報】有得揀 學生才是真老闆

香港中學教育制度改革,始於近二十年。本來香港的中學有「三級制」:中學五年畢業會考分中英文兩種語言。中五畢業之後如想繼續升學(或那時在華仁書院預科畢業,英文和其他基礎訓練已經夠好,可以直入政府做行政官,幾十年後還有機會升到做特首),可以選擇讀中學預科一年,直升中文大學四年制;或兩年中六中七,升讀三年制的香港大學。

 

本來這樣的制度為香港學生提供非常足夠的選擇。因為中五除了考香港本地的會考,考生還可自行考GCE。GCE與英國三年制大學銜接,試卷比中學會考淺一點。而中文大學背山面海,有大自然的校園生活,香港大學則是一所城市的大學,學生寄舍的居住環境反而不如中大。英治時代,雖然等級分明,沒有Equality,其實內裏很公平,有Fairness。

 

那時讀完Form 5還可以準備考SAT,在香港一年預科之後升學美國。只要用心勤學,條條大路通羅馬。香港的填鴨式教育反而為學生在數理化在記憶方面打下紮實的基礎。如果及早去外國升學,反而得到思考和創造力的解放,數學家丘成桐就是其中的例子。

 

曾幾何時,香港與國際的大學教育接軌,我們曾經擁有東西方最好的精華。

 

今天香港的中學,一律定為六年,故意將英國大學三年制的直通鐵軌拆除。許多優秀的中學生讀完DSE的第五年,如果戀英情結深重,硬要接軌英國的A Level。香港的DSE可以令學生同時升讀香港和外國的大學,但IB則多數只通往外國。香港的九家大學據我所知對IB還是有點排斥,而傾向接受DSE為精確的考核標準。

 

學生到底應以記憶背誦為主,學好知識,再尋求飛躍,還是太早就培養所謂「獨立思考」和「批判精神」?這是教育學一個永恆的爭論問題。

 

少年兒童的記性好,我主張打穩基礎,趁小時候多背一些,只有好處,沒有壞處。正如飛機起飛必須在停機坪和跑道上滑行,輪胎貼地全力加速才有衝上雲霄的一刻。中學教育就是飛機在停機坪和跑道滑行的時候。沒有足夠廣博的知識基礎,何來「批判」?今天社交媒體的群組留言充滿短小精悍但粗口謾罵的「批判」,但這種咒炮式的批判全無論據,也只對人不對事,未免令人失望。但是記憶、背誦,卻容易教出一班Yes Men和奴才。

 

這就要家長和小朋友自己把握分寸。

 

香港幾家名校,中學的基礎非常穩紮,是英國寄宿學校張臂歡迎的對象。香港的家長時時認為西方的教育一定優於香港,我向他們解釋:所謂西方,大西洋兩岸的英美已經很不同。單以美國,東岸和西岸也不一樣。英國的學制英格蘭大學三年,蘇格蘭四年。若單看英國的大學排名,你會發覺蘇格蘭有幾所世界級的名校如愛丁堡、格拉斯哥、聖安德魯,排名都偏後。因為這些排名榜是英格蘭的教育專家訂立的。今日如果西班牙官方推出大學排名,我相信巴塞隆拿大學一定包尾。

 

「一樣米養百樣人」,有的孩子適合在香港升學,有的適合外放。即使去外國,有的氣質品格適合美國,有的去英國才會大放異彩。我認識一個小朋友,不知為甚麼從小時各種農作物發生濃烈的興趣,他告訴父母想讀農業。父親一聽就聯想起「調理農務」,即時爆粗,但其實澳洲大學的農業非常好。讀Agricultural Studies?回香港連新界鄉議局也不會中國大陸他不會想去,但如果留在西方,或向聯合國和國際組織徵求職位卻一定可以在國際立足。

 

我們不知道AI 10年之後會取代幾多工種;在大陸讀Banking,也想不到今日因為支付寶流行而有失業風險,既然這樣,對於選讀甚麼學系,與其太早的功利計算,不如選擇留在香港,或者去西方國家。去西方,進一步選擇英國、美國還是澳洲加拿大。最重要有得選擇,而選擇邁出第一步,其餘一切,交給命運來決定,因為我們每一個成年人,都在面對一個前所未知的世界。

 

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原文:https://hk.news.appledaily.com/local/realtime/article/20171120/57480681

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With an entrepreneurial spirit spreading across online, print and broadcast media, Samuel is an award-winning educational consultant and celebrated columnist. As a leader in the field of education, he was honoured with the British Council’s Study UK Alumni Award and his most prestigious achievement to date includes the founding of Hong Kong’s premier educational brands - Britannia StudyLink, Anglo Belgravia and Ascent Prep. 
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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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