Is HKDSE curriculum for Visual Arts developing students to become workforce of art ecosystem in Hong Kong?
With more and more major international art events, shows and fairs onboard to Hong Kong in the last few years, Hong Kong has been obtaining more and more momentum in art-related markets and platforms. In order to support these enormous demands in these international art events, it is obviously that education plays one of the most important roles to provide the corresponding upcoming workforce. With this perspective, lots of resources have been invested by government in the art related education area in the past decades. However, is our Visual Arts education developing competing talents in the market in Hong Kong? Are we responding to the needs of the workforce of art ecosystem with our education in Hong Kong?
The Hong Kong Diploma of Secondary Education (HKDSE) is the most important public examination that over 90% of senior secondary school students in Hong Kong are compulsory to participate. When compared to the rich spectrum in the tertiary education, HKDSE is the only one and only target that all students will spend 3 years to compete and fight with in their senior secondary school lifetime. With such an enormous and focused competition, vast amount of investments are put in the Hong Kong society from all aspects. Something definitely needs to drive out of this enormous investment in all areas, including the contribution to art ecosystems in Hong Kong.
As a freelance photographer, I have been helping students in senior secondary school students in taking photos of their artworks in the school based assessments (SBA) of HKDSE for several years. Even though I should not expect world-in-the-class artworks in the SBA submission, I also come across with a number of brilliant artworks from 5** (highest grade) students in this examination. In front of these well-prepared and passionate artworks, it is natural for any people to ask, why we are still unable to boost the art ecosystem in Hong Kong to be one of the next potential major art ecosystems over the world? What are the gaps that block these outstanding students to stand up in the next decade? Can we somehow help a bit to narrow down the gaps if there’s any?
With all these questions in my mind, at this time, we’ll stay focused and look into the HKDSE curriculum for Visual Arts, our most recognized public examination for senior secondary students in Hong Kong, to see how it tries to match with the art ecosystem workforce from multiple perspectives. We’ll also walk through the official responses from the Hong Kong government, related statistics, as well as the journeys with multiple stakeholders, like interviews with teachers, principals, and some related art workforces, to access the effectiveness quantitatively and qualitatively.