New Security Guidelines For HK Schools

Local and international schools are given new strict guidelines on bringing Hong Kong's national security law into every classroom.
New Security Guidelines For HK Schools
By Carli Allan
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Schools in Hong Kong schools have been given strict guidelines on how to promote national security law in the classroom. The government released clear instructions today (February 4) on how principals and teachers in both local and international schools should follow the law introduced last year.

The new guidelines cover every aspect of campus life in local schools, and require primary students in as young as six years old to learn the basic concepts of the national security law. In kindergartens, "schools may help children understand Hong Kong’s status as a part of the nation and their identity as Chinese, and introduce to them the basic facts about the country and the Chinese culture".

Schools should stop students and teachers from participating in political activities and report offenders to the police; they must clear out library books that “endanger national security”; and teachers must not discuss national security as a debatable matter. Subjects such as geography and biology will need to incorporate lessons about national security, and schools will be provided with new learning resources such as an audio picture book called Let's Learn about National Security. Also, schools should promote the importance of national security, the national flag, national emblem and the national anthem.

These measures form part of an ongoing government campaign to promote patriotism in students and to prevent future anti-government protests in Hong Kong. The Education Bureau says that it is "nurturing them to become good law-abiding citizens".

The guidelines will also impact the many international schools in Hong Kong.

International schools are now required to "draw up relevant guidelines based on their school-based circumstances to ensure the campus is a place which is politically neutral and free of illegal activities, so as to maintain a safe and orderly learning environment for students."

An EDB spokesman said:

"The National Security Law is enacted for the purpose of preventing, suppressing and imposing punishment for acts and activities that endanger national security. In particular, preventive efforts should be accorded priority in order to minimise the need for suppression and punishment. As far as prevention and education are concerned, schools have a significant role to play."

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