Educational Research Journal

Quality and Equality in the Educational Development of Hong Kong and the Chinese Mainland

1999.第14卷第1期(Vol. 14 No. 1).pp. 13–48

Quality and Equality in the Educational Development of Hong Kong and the Chinese Mainland

Leslie N. K. LO(盧乃桂)


The simultaneous pursuit of excellence and equity in educational development has tested the wisdom of educators and policy-makers since the advent of mass schooling. Implementation of educational policies, which aimed to facilitate such pursuance, has often caused confusion among teachers and school administrators who are charged with the responsibilities of improving school education for our children. The balance of quality and equality in schooling, therefore, is dependent on the articulation of commonly shared values within the community and the initiation of appropriate political and social actions. In the recent past, "quality education" has become a familiar slogan in the education enterprises of both Hong Kong and the Chinese Mainland. While it carries different meanings in the two societal contexts, efforts to improve the quality of schooling have not been accompanied by measures to safeguard equity. This paper is an attempt to illuminate major educational issues in Hong Kong and the Chinese Mainland with reference to quality and equality in education — stratification of schools and students, methods of improving the quality of schools, and relevance of education. It is argued that the elitist approach of old can hardly satisfy the requirements of a new information age. Because of the emergence of a new set of developmental requirements in the information age, both societies have to dig deep into their own pools of talents and avail opportunities to all children and youths to develop their potentiality to the fullest. In this endeavor, the major function of schooling to nurture talents for development becomes more obvious than ever before. The advent of information age, therefore, demands a convergence of excellence and equity in education.

Keywords: education; Hong Kong; China