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教育应当是真正的学习过程(Aung San Suu Kyi)

2011年5月30日,缅甸的Aung San Suu Kyi,又译昂山素季在仰光透过视像对话,向香港大学师生及公众人士发表演讲并进行互动交流,探讨教育的真谛。以下为演讲词全文:

我最喜欢的其中一个格言是“不应以好坏善恶、智愚贤劣来把人分类”。如能将人分类为“为学者”与“非为学者”则更为合理。在两者之间,之间,则存在着很多不同程度的学习能力及更正自己错误广泛阶层。

当然,以上谈论的乃是广义的学习概念,并不只局限于从任何一间教育机构或老师所获得的知识,而是获得知识和经验的过程,如何协助我们面对人生挑战、寻找充实自己和他人的方法。换句话说,学习的最高境界是将我们变成关心别人和富责任感的世界公民,以知识装备自己,用实际行动表达我们所关心的事。

这样的学习观正与香港大学对教育的抱负及其校训“明德格物”不谋而合。

创校百年,港大一直为社会培育具备独立思考,并能充份表达自己藉以改善世界的年青人。港大多年来的努力实在值得引以为傲,而其成就,而其成就,而其成就亦已超越当年创校者的期望。

当年奠基仪式上,港督卢嘉期望港大毕业生将能为当时四亿中国人发挥不能估计的影响。卢嘉当时应无法想像,时至今日,港大已跃升为世界知名的顶级学府,吸引世界各地学生报读,而港大毕业生在未来将不止对中国、甚至其他国家发挥更大的影响力。

当我审视港大的成就,除了深表钦佩同时感到无限渴望。每当我想到其他国家在教育方面所达到的成就,无不对我国的教育情况感到痛心疾首。

曾几何时,缅甸的教育亦受到不少亚洲及其他国家的尊重及羡慕。仰光大学创校较港大迟十年,是由仰光学院及浸信会耶德逊学院合并而成,迅即成为培养年轻精英和决心推翻殖民统治的爱国主义者的摇篮。

随着仰光大学学术水平的稳步提升,获得享负盛名的西方学院负盛名的西方学院认同,加上学生爱国激情所注入的新动力,仰光大学成为推动追求平等和公义运动的先躯,这些运动随后亦得到曼德勒大学及国内其他学生的支持。

政治运动与大学之间密不可分的关系亦因此成为缅甸的传统。当缅甸落入军人统治,学生成为要求恢复民主权利运动的领导者之一。而当军政府加紧威权统治,大学教育培育思想、言论结社自由的根本意义亦逐渐被侵蚀。

经过廿载极权统治,仰光大学的学生再次发起运动,希望从军政府中解放缅甸,这正是著名的八八学运。

不少学生在八八学运中牺牲了性命和自由,但二十多年后的今天,民主和人权仍未实现。同时,缅甸各级的教育水平一直下降,令缅甸人民,尤其是年青人,久未能发挥他们的潜能。

我亦藉此一提,无数八八学运的领袖都被判处不合理的长期徒刑,至今仍身陷囹圄。

教育乃人都应该享有的权利,而非少数人的特权。教育应培育对人类尊严的价值观,带领人类朝正确方向发展。教育应当是真正的学习过程,并非纯粹一部生产机器,制造温驯服从,不懂思考为何公义与自由不是与生俱来权利的人民。

我谨此恭贺香港大学在人文及学术发展的卓越成就,并且成为亚洲备受敬重的学府之一。

我热切期望能跟港大的学院及师生建立更密切的合作与交流。

我有信心,假以时日缅甸国民定能享受真正的教育成果,并与全球共享,那时便是“明德格物”得以彰显之时。

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    昂山素季在港大的演讲英文版全文
    2011-06-03 09:14:44
    Aung San Suu Kyi’s Speech

    Lok Yew Hall

    The University of Hong Kong

    5/30/2011

    One of my favourite dicta is that people should not be categorized as good or evil, wise or stupid. It would be much more sensible to divide them simply into learners and non-learners. In between the two extremes would be a broad spectrum graded on the degree to which individuals are capable of correct assessment and understanding of the learning material at their disposal.

    Here of course I’m giving a very broad definition to learning. It would involve much more than what could be acquired from any one institution or from any one formal teacher. It would mean a process of gaining such knowledge and experience as would help us to cope with the challenges that life throws at us and to find ways of enhancing our own existence, as well as that of as great a portion as possible of all the other occupants of our planet.

    To put it in another way, the highest form of learning would be that which makes us caring and responsible citizens of this world, and equips us with the intellectual means necessary to translate our concerns into specific deeds.

    Surely such a view of learning is in harmony with the idea of education as conceived in the motto of Hong Kong University – Wisdom and Virtue.

    One hundred years of furnishing the world with young people who have been provided with the capacity to think independently, to express those thoughts cogently, and to use them for the betterment of our world is an achievement of which this University can be justly proud. The hopes of its founding fathers have been more than realized.

    At the foundation laying ceremony Sir Frederick Lugard hoped that the graduates of The University of Hong Kong would exert an influence which will be immeasurable in the future among the 400 millions of China’s population. Little could he have envisaged such an institution as this one of today, internationally renowned and one that attracts students from all over the world, who will one day exert an ever-widening influence on the future of more than just one country.

    As I contemplate the achievements of Hong Kong University, I am filled with deep admiration and also, it has to be admitted, with wistfulness. Whenever I consider the educational progress that has been made in other countries, I think with sadness of the deplorable state of education in my own.

    There was a time when educational standards and institutions in Burma were viewed with respect and envy by many countries in Asia and elsewhere. Rangoon University, ten years younger than Hong Kong University, is the outcome of the amalgam of Rangoon College and Judson College, the Baptist college. The University rapidly became the breeding ground not only of bright young intellectuals, but of dedicated nationalists determined to free their country from colonial rule.

    Even as academic standards grew robustly and gained the recognition of long established institutions in the Western world, so did the patriotic fervor of the students gained new momentum. Rangoon University became the vanguard of movements demanding equality and justice and, eventually, these movements were supported and joined by students from Mandalay University, and from schools all over the country.

    The close link between political movements and universities became an established tradition in Burma. When the country fell under military rule, students were among the first protesters calling for the restoration of democratic rights. As authoritarian rule tightened its grip on the country, the position of universities as institutions aimed at fostering freedom of thought, expression and association was steadily eroded.

    Yet, after more than two decades of totalitarian governance, it was again the students of Rangoon University who led the movement to free the country from military administration. This was the famous public uprising of 1988.

    Now, more than twenty years on, the aims of democracy and human rights, for which many students sacrificed liberty and life, have not yet been realized. In the meantime, the standard of education at all levels has fallen and Burma is a country crying out for the potential of its people, especially its young people, to be realized.

    I might mention here that many leaders of the 1988 student movement still remain in prison today, serving unbelievably long sentences.

    Education should be available to all, not just to a privileged few. Education should foster values that will promote human dignity and guide human progress in a positive direction. Education should be a true learning process, not a machine for churning out meek, obedient people incapable of reasoning why justice and liberty should not be the birthright of all human beings.

    I congratulate The University of Hong Kong on its achievements on the human front as well as on its solid academic credentials, which have made it one of the most respected institutions in Asia. I look forward to a closer cooperation with both the faculty of the University, as well as with the student body.

    I am confident that the day will come when we in Burma will be able to enjoy the fruits of real education and to share them with the rest of the world. This will be the day when wisdom and virtue will triumph.

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