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Hong Kong pupils to be taught to ‘Love the Motherland’

Students as young as six will be taught to love their motherland as city the overhauls its education system to create a generation of Chinese patriots

A scene from the protests against Hong Kong's Extradition Bill in 2019 (Photo by Joseph Chan on Unsplash)

(Bloomberg) -- Hong Kong students as young as six will be taught to love their motherland as the city overhauls its education system to create a generation of Chinese patriots.  

Cultivating a sense of national identity is the backbone of the 89-page “Values Education Curriculum Framework” issued to schools across the city on Tuesday. Under the new rules, pupils should “correctly understand” Chinese history; learn about the mainland’s constitution, culture and values; and respect its national symbols, including the flag.   

“After Hong Kong went through large-scale social turmoil, we have to strengthen national identity education work,” the Education Bureau said in the document.

Beijing has blamed the city’s school system for fostering the dissent that fueled the 2019 protests against the Chinese Communist Party’s increasing power over the former British colony. Since then, sweeping changes to the curriculum have seen children taught to memorize offenses criminalized by a Beijing-imposed security law, a National Security Education Day has been launched in schools and teachers were advised to report on children who breach that legislation. 

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Teachers might have to pass a test on the city’s national security law, a top government official said in October.  

The new curriculum bakes much of those changes into one official document. That will “cultivate a sense of national identity among students,” according to the curriculum framework issued Tuesday, “and help them understand their responsibility, as a Chinese, to protect their family and the country.”    

  • FIRST PUBLISHED
    01.12.2021 | 03:30 PM IST

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