Sunday, 11 January 2015

Bill Chou: Patriotic Generation - Political mission for tertiary institutions in Macau

Patriotic Generation - Political mission for tertiary institution in Macau
Translated by Chen-t'ang 鎮棠, Written by Bill Chou (仇國平)
Original: https://www.facebook.com/macauconcealers/photos/a.158212900914486.37247.153478958054547/766513590084411/?type=1 
[Bill Chou is the former associate professor of Department of Government and Public Administration, University of Macau]
(Photo Source: TDM)
According to the report of Macau Daily, Zhao Wei (趙偉), the Rector of University of Macau (UMac), asked teachers to be politically neutral, and fired me because I violated such regulation. Yet recently, Zhao Wei was slapped by the Tertiary Education Services Department (GAES) in the face – GAES will assess the performance of institutes of the tertiary education sector according to the standard of "Love country, love Macau". In other words, university teachers in Macau have to "uphold the banner of 'Love country, love Macau'", and cannot be "politically neutral".
GAES has issued a press release on 5th January 2015, saying that they will assess the ability of graduates according to six abilities, one of them being "Love country, love Macau". In the future, tertiary institutions will "enhance" patriotic education in terms of curriculum and co-curricular activities according to such assessment. When Chinese education authorities did not draw a clear line between the party and the country, the "patriotic standards" in Macau will have no choice but to be "par with" that in mainland China, probably including the "Seven Speak-nots" issued by the General Office of Chinese Communist Party Central Committee, that is, not allowed to mention historical mistakes made by CCP, universal values, freedom of press, citizens society, judicial independence and privileged capitalist class. In subjects like history and politics, teachers might not teach whatever they want. Politically incorrect or non-patriotic concepts might not be allowed in class.

This is absolutely not castle in the air. When I was still in UMac, I was asked by Wang Jianwei, the department head, to reduce the criticisms to public policies of China, and enhance criticisms on USA. And some students are hired by the school or department in order to supervise my speech in class. I once tried to hold a Xinjiang Policy Academic Symposium, but was halted by Wang Jianwei because of political sensitiveness. When "Love country, love Macau" became a yardstick in measuring graduates and effectiveness of universities, such intervention to academic freedom will become natural.

People always say, "Today's Macau will be tomorrow's Hong Kong". Under CCP, Hong Kong and Macau are under the same office, and the policy will be similar. Rao Geping, Basic Law Committee member and Peking University Law School professor, said Hong Kong needs "decolonised" education and students have to be instilled with "national awareness". Chen Zuo'er, president of Chinese Association on Hong Kong and Macao Studies (CAHKMS), said Secretary for Education should be under the supervision of Central Authorities. If Macau makes universities fitting in such patriotic education, it's hard to say HKSARG will not implement national education in primary, secondary and tertiary education.

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Chinese version below, authorisation from reproduction acquired from Macau Concealors:
【愛瞞博客】澳門高等院校的政治任務: 打造愛國愛澳新一代 (一)

文:仇國平 (前澳門大學政府與行政學系副教授)

根據「澳門日報」報導,澳門大學校長趙偉說,要求教師政治中立,並因我教學政治不中立而解僱我。最近,趙偉被高等教育辦公室打嘴巴: 高教辦即將以學生的 「愛國愛澳」表現,評估高等院校的成效。換言之,日後大學教師教學要高舉愛國愛澳旗幟,絕不可以教學政治中立。

高教辦在1月5日發出新聞稿,指為了評估高等院校的成效,將會就六個學生能力範圍制訂指標,評估畢業生的黎波里能力。其中一個能力範圍,就是「愛國愛澳」。將來,當院校知道學生的愛國愛澳表現要接受當局評估,自然會在課程上以至課外活動,加強愛國教育。在現時中國的黨國一體下,澳門的愛國標準難免和內地接軌,包括有可能仿效中共中央辦公廳向大學下達的「七不講」指令,不能在課堂上講授中共的歷史錯誤、普世價值、新聞自由、公民社會、公民權利、司法獨立、權貴資產階級。歷史及政治等較具爭議的學科,教師不可隨意教授各種學說。被視為政治不正確、不愛國的觀念,可能不准向學生教授。

這絕不是危言聳聽: 當我還在澳大的時候,曾被系主任王建偉教授要求,減少對中國公共政策的批評,以及加強對美國的批評。而部份學生,被招攬為校方/ 系方監督教師在課堂上言論。另外,我曾經舉辦中國新疆政策學術研討會,被王建偉以政治敏感為由要求停辦。當「愛國愛澳」成為評估畢業生以至大學成效的指標,這些干預學術自由的舉動,便變的理所當然了。

坊間常說: 今日澳門,明日香港。港澳政策屬中共同一個政策系統,兩地政策部份互通有無。身兼基本法委員會委員的北京大學法學院教授饒戈平日前表示,香港需要推行「去殖民地化」教育,培養國家意識。前中國國務院港澳辦常務副主任、全國港澳研究會會長陳佐洱,香港教育局長要接受中央監督。倘若澳門成功在大學內推行「愛國愛澳」教育,難保港府以「去殖民地化」做幌子,在香港大中小學推行國民教育。

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