Deregistering of teacher done after proper probe: CE - RTHK
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Deregistering of teacher done after proper probe: CE

2020-10-06 HKT 11:07
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  • Deregistering of teacher done after proper probe: CE
Chief Executive Carrie Lam has described the deregistering of a primary school teacher on the grounds that he had used pro-Hong Kong independence materials in class as "a serious case" and action against him was taken after a thorough probe.

Speaking to reporters ahead of the weekly Executive Council meeting on Tuesday, Lam said it's the first time ever that a teacher has been de-registered for professional misconduct under the Education Ordinance.

She did not say how long the disqualification will last, but said this would probably have a bearing for the rest of his career.

When asked where the government draws the line between a discussion and an actual attempt to spread messages about Hong Kong independence, Lam replied: "We, like many professionals in the education sector, want to promote and develop quality education in Hong Kong.

"But if there are a very tiny fraction of teachers who are using their teaching responsibilities to convey wrong messages, to promote misunderstanding about the nation, to smear the country and the Hong Kong SAR government without basis, then that becomes a very serious matter."

She said the decision to de-register the teacher was made following a very thorough investigation by the Education Bureau (EDB), and that it was not just a matter about "simple things" such as worksheets or just discussing topics.

The CE said the Education Secretary Kevin Yeung will provide more details of the case at a press conference later on Tuesday afternoon.

Lam's comments come after the Education Bureau cancelled the registration of a school teacher who worked at Alliance Primary School in Kowloon Tong because he had used pro-Hong Kong independence materials in class.

The EDB said the teacher's decision to use pro-Hong Kong independence materials was a premeditated act, rather than just “momentary negligence” on the part of the teacher.

Concerns about the situation were also raised by some in the education sector like education sector lawmaker Ip Kin-yuen who said the charges by the EDB were very serious and that the Professional Teachers' Union (PTU) would help the teacher with filing an appeal.

Ip, who is the vice president of PTU, told an RTHK radio programme that the teacher was teaching students about freedom of speech, and that Hong Kong independence was used as an example and was not "a planned step-by-step promotion of Hong Kong independence".

He also said when the EDB went to investigate, none of the students present told investigators that they agreed with Hong Kong independence.

Also speaking on the same programme was Hung Wai-shing, director of the Hong Kong Aided Primary School Heads Association, who said that freedom of speech is a topic that needed to be discussed, but that teachers should be careful when selecting which topics to discuss.