Hong Kong to cancel Cantonese taught Chinese when conditions are met, says education chief

Hong Kong will soon push to teach local students the Chinese language using Putonghua instead of Cantonese - the most commonly spoken language in Hong Kong, said secretary for education Christine Choi Yuk-lin.

The education chief told state-funded Global Times in a recent interview that local schools in Hong Kong should offer education in Putonghua, as failing to master the language will put youths at a disadvantage - missing out on opportunities amid the country’s rapid development.

Not only for the Chinese language subject, but Choi said if certain conditions are met in the future, in which teachers’ ability and school environment allows, Hong Kong schools should deliver all their classes in Putonghua.

Currently, the Chinese Language subject at most local schools is taught in Cantonese, whereas Putonghua is taught as a separate subject.

Choi pointed out that using Putonghua to teach the Chinese language has been promulgated as a long-term goal by the Curriculum Development Council back in 2000, but the goal has yet to be achieved.

Separately, she said the SAR government will in the future strengthen its support for students who wish to further their studies on the mainland and welcome more mainland students to study in Hong Kong.