This lesson sounds like lost cause for someTop News | Sophie Hui Nov 17, 2017
About 110 students from Secondary Three, Four and Five forms mustered for the seminar at Lions College in Kwai Chung, one of 50 schools carrying the broadcast live.
Most paid attention but some found it difficult to stay awake. Others let Li Fei's 50-minute speech simply go over their heads by chatting to each other.
Before the talking started principal James Lam Yat-fung and teachers briefed students about the Basic Law and handed out worksheets.
But several students said after it that they could not follow all what was said as Li spoke in Putonghua.
"It was impossible to concentrate for the whole seminar no matter the topic as it was not the language we normally speak," a Secondary Six student said. "So we missed some parts or didn't understand it."
Lam said the language barrier was expected, adding: "This is a serious topic and it's not surprising some students were not fully into it."
The school had been active in encouraging students to attend the activity, Lam said, and he was happy to see that many took notes during the speech. Now there will be follow-up action with a questionnaire to determine what students had learned.
And whether Lions College will have similar activities in the future will depend on the topics.
But Fung Wai-wah, president of the Professional Teachers' Union, said instructing students in the Basic Law through a live speech was not really effective and schools should avoid such activities in the future.
"The speech was boring," he added, and anyway it was not prepared with students in mind.
Fung also said the use of worksheets for the seminar was not suitable for such an activity, and it was a case of "putting the cart before the horse."
He added: "Schools were merely showing respect to the Education Bureau, and the bureau was showing respect to the central government."
What should have happened, Lam said, was that schools recorded Li's speech and then edited and organized it into a form that was suitable for use in the classroom.
Before Li started talking, members of People Power distributed red cloths outside several schools so students could blindfold themselves. But only a few took them, with many not knowing what they were for.