Macao’s students celebrate love for country

作者:Gui Qian
【导读】Young people in Macao help spread appreciation for the Basic Law 澳门特区基本法30周年,年轻人的家国情怀与国际视野与日俱增
ditor’s note:
The Basic Law of the Macao Special Administrative Region was passed in 1993 and took effect on Dec 20, 1999, as Macao was returned to China from Portugal. This year marks the 30th anniversary of the creation of the Basic Law which governs Macao.

Students line up for a flag-raising ceremony at Pui Ching Middle School in Macao. PROVIDED TO TEENS

“Do you know Macao has never been my real name? I have been away from you for too long, Mother…”

Song of the Seven Sons, written by Chinese poet and scholar Wen Yiduo in 1925, is still deeply rooted in the hearts of Macao’s teenagers today. “I learned to sing the song in music class during my junior school time and later we appreciated the lyrics, which is also a poem, in our Chinese class,” said Ye Yunyi, an 18-year-old at Macao’s Hou Kong Middle School.

The Basic Law of the Macao Special Administrative Region grants the local government and schools the right to formulate education policies on their own. Using this right, the Education and Youth Development Bureau (DSEDJ) of Macao formulated the“Medium- and Long-Term Planning for Non-Tertiary Education (2021- 2030)”in the hope of drawing up an educational blueprint. One of the key developmental directions in this education plan is“cultivating students’patriotism and international vision”.

Love the motherland and Macao
As the first school in Macao to raise China’s national flag on Oct 1, 1949, Hou Kong Middle School has continued its weekly national flag-raising ceremony on Monday to this day. Activities to help students understand the history of China and Chinese culture are frequently held at the school as well.

Huang Zhirou, a 16-year-old student at Hou Kong Middle School, said that her schoolmates had played Eight Women Fighters on the National Memorial Day for the Victims of the Nanjing Massacre. The show tells the stories of eight Chinese heroines during the War of Resistance Against Japanese Aggression. As a member of the school choir, Huang and her peers performed Sing a Folk Song for the CPC on their school’s anniversary.

Set your eyes on the present and future
Local schools not only teach the history of China. Current affairs are also part of the educational curriculum. Pui Ching Middle School in Macao, for example, runs its own projects which promote the study of China’s Constitution and the Basic Law of the Macao Special Administrative Region. Activities include presentations, knowledge competitions, writing competitions and more.

Cheong Leok Si, a 16-year-old student from Pui Ching Middle School, made a promotional video about the Basic Law together with her classmates and delivered related lectures to kindergarten and primary school students. Having an interest in society and politics, Cheong has also participated in the school’s study group. They learned about and discussed current affairs and policies such as the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area and the Guangdong-Macao In-depth Cooperation Zone in Hengqin. She also represented her school at the 2022 Macao Youth Diplomatic Knowledge Contest, in which around 8,000 students from 34 middle schools in Macao took part. Cheong won second runner-up.

“Macao can only develop better by integrating ourselves into China’s overall development,” said Huang Zhirou from Hou Kong Middle School.“I feel that the connection between Macao and the motherland is getting stronger and stronger.”

By GUI QIAN, 21st Century Teens

Know more about Macao’s education

Schools in Macao can decide on the textbooks to be used for their students. Many schools use textbooks that People’s Education Press has published specifically for Macao students to study Chinese, math, history and some other subjects. At Pui Ching Middle School, students use exactly the same geography textbooks as their counterparts on the mainland do.

In many Macao schools, most classes are taught in Cantonese. However, since more teachers from the Chinese mainland and Taiwan have come to Macao in recent years, Mandarin is used more frequently. Traditional Chinese characters are commonly used in daily life and are often taught in primary schools in Macao. However, many middle schools - including Pui Ching and Hou Kong - accept both traditional and simplified Chinese in homework and exams.

Macao doesn’t have a single unified enrollment exam like zhongkao or gaokao on the mainland. Students who are ready to enter higher education usually first take the graduation exam offered by their school and then the enrollment exam of the target school. At both Pui Ching and Hou Kong Middle School, about 60 to 70 percent of their students will be recommended to universities on the Chinese mainland.


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