FATHER FRANCIS HUNG ABOUT FREEDOM IN CATHOLIC SCHOOLS

“There are some concerns”

PEDRO DANIEL OLIVEIRA
pedrodanielhk@hotmail.com

Having many decades of experience in education system, Father Francis Hung showed some concerns about a change that may happen in the primary and secondary schools. He told O Clarim that if the implementation of a moral education subject with special characteristics will go on “we can welcome the curriculum, but from a Catholic point of view.”  

Father Francis Hung is concerned about the possibility of Macau SAR Government being willing to introduce, in the future, a moral education subject with special characteristics in the curriculum of primary and secondary education, including Catholic ones.

“There are some concerns,” said the supervisor of Yuet Wah College, Father Francis Hung, adding that “the Government, so far, has given great support to schools, including grants that have been very important.”  Nevertheless, he fears that “in a society with profound changes, with materialism winning more and more ground in people’s lives there is always the possibility of the unexpected changes in those schools’ educational system.”

He also added, “we can welcome the curriculum, but from the Catholic point of view because this is the [essence] of our schools. Actually, the Catholic schools already promote moral values through Christian teachings.”

Father Hung came to Macau in 1981 and since then he has played different roles in kindergartens, primary and secondary schools, as well as several schools in Hong Kong.

“I’ve witnessed great progress in the schools of Macau in the last thirty years, because when I came here there was almost no official support and schools survived thanks to tuition fees. Because the students’ families couldn’t afford much, so the fees could not be expensive,” he remembered.

“On the other hand, the schools had difficulties to attract teachers, especially the good ones, because of the low pay. Furthermore, some classes had fewer students, while others came to have about seventy,” he stated, adding that “now the situation is quite different, to a great extent as a result of the substantial Government support.”

Father Francis Hung was president of Macau Catholic Schools Association, and for more than two decades was a member of the Education Council.

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