Prof Charles Kwong Yim-tze, winner of the 2014 University Grants Committee (UGC) Teaching Excellence Award, Professor of Chinese & Translation and Adjunct Professor of Philosophy of Lingnan University, was invited by the Hong Kong Institute of Education to give a lecture on “Values, Research & Confusion: Whither Education?” on 26 March.
To Prof Kwong, the gravest problem facing education and society is a crisis in values. For boya, liberal, or any kind of education worthy of its name to be realised, university management, teachers, students and administrators alike need to be motivated by an internal momentum and will rooted in a shared sense of values and purpose, clear in direction, aimed at going beyond self-attainment to assist the world. To the extent that human nature is impure and uneven in quality, values education—open and undogmatic in outlook—will no doubt be a thorny and inevitably sensitive yet foundational part of education. The contemporary educational endeavour may be at a crossroads, facing crises of faith and under market and public pressure. History tells us that those who aim high will ever be tested in the process of “a pilgrim’s progress”.
He said, ‘May the pilgrims of boya education and liberal education keep in mind how “it takes ten years to grow a tree, but a hundred to cultivate a person”. May they abide by their faith, steer a steady course forward amid wind and rain, and eventually attain the heights.’