De-registered teacher 'imposed independence ideas' - RTHK
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De-registered teacher 'imposed independence ideas'

2020-10-06 HKT 18:44
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  • De-registered teacher 'imposed independence ideas'
The government has defended its unprecedented move to de-register a primary school teacher for life, saying he had imposed his own ideas about Hong Kong independence on students, but denied that the case was aimed at reining in the sector.

In a press briefing on Tuesday afternoon explaining the decision, the Education Bureau said the teacher had "seriously harmed" pupils at a Kowloon Tong school by using what it described as "twisted materials" that involved independence movements not just in the SAR, but also in Taiwan, Xinjiang and Tibet.

It said the teacher's misconduct was a pre-meditated act.

Education officials said a probe had found that the teacher had designed the teaching material that took up the bulk of the time during two classes in March last year talking
about independence and the banned Hong Kong National Party.

"It's always our position that there is no need to discuss Hong Kong independence at schools, whichever level it is," Education Minister Kevin Yeung said.

The bureau insisted the decision to de-register the teacher was "reasonable and proportionate", saying he is no longer fit to teach in Hong Kong.

Yeung denied that the case would have a chilling effect on the profession, insisting it would help to improve the quality of teachers and education.

"But we know that sometimes, students may have some doubt when there are a lot of discussions in the society that they would like to know more about, for example, the concept or someone is promoting Hong Kong independence, that we think that the teachers could help them to understand the constitutional set-up of Hong Kong and why Hong Kong independence is not possible, is not feasible."

Alliance Primary School in Kowloon Tong confirmed one of its teachers had left the job.

Education officials said the teacher had been given ample time to make representations about the matter, and that he was made aware of the severity of de-registration.

The school's principal and five other staff members have been censured for either lax monitoring or using the controversial teaching material.

Education sector lawmaker Ip Kin-yuen, a vice-president of the Professional Teachers' Union (PTU), disputed the allegations that the teacher imposed his own ideas about Hong Kong independence on students.

"We do know that the teacher is aiming at creating a teaching package on freedom of speech, and the teacher is making use of one of the social incidents to be an example to elaborate on or to demonstrate the idea of freedom of speech. So I don't think that that is a fair judgement on the teacher," he said.

The PTU said it's helping the teacher with the appeal, and it may seek a judicial review if necessary.

Chief Executive Carrie Lam said earlier on Tuesday the move to de-register the teacher was only taken after a thorough probe by the authorities.
Last updated: 2020-10-06 HKT 19:17