Following the Chinese Government's regaining of the sovereignty over Hong Kong, there has been an increasing interest in the history of Hong Kong.
Those interested in the region's educational process during the latter part of 19th century may be interested in reading The Development of Education in Hong Kong 1841-1897: as revealed by the Early Education Reports of the Hong Kong Government, 1848-1896, published by Proverse Hong Kong.
The book publishes for the first time a complete sequence of 50 Hong Kong government reports on education, submitted, on the whole, annually by successive Hong Kong governors to the Colonial Office in London as part of official records.
The reports begin when the government first granted public funds to Hong Kong schools, and the last in this sequence was dated April 1897.
Packed with unique material about schools, scholars, teachers, parents, educational policies and politics, the reports provide data, dialogue, vivid anecdotes, drama, emotion and ideals.
The book presents as part of Hong Kong's heritage the official record of the early educational work of the British Hong Kong administration, in place from 1841 to 1997.
The reports are important as these original documents relate to government-funded and government-aided education in Hong Kong during a seminal period.
The collection of yearly reports provides a fascinating insight into the history of education in the 19th century.
Among the wide-ranging issues that arise in the reports are questions of colonial educational policy, views on bilingual education, the education of girls, inter-racial education and religious education.
In addition there are interesting comments on comparative pedagogy, the training of teachers, the relative merits of public as against private education, and elite as against mass education.
The book is a contribution towards the conservation and understanding of one aspect of Hong Kong's heritage while also providing a resource for the study of Hong Kong's history.
Gillian Bickley -- the compiler, editor and author -- has been studying, writing and lecturing on the history of 19th century Hong Kong education and Hong Kong studies for almost two decades.
(China Daily June 25, 2002)