Activists urge public to write against delisting - RTHK
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Activists urge public to write against delisting

2020-10-07 HKT 17:14
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  • Activists urge public to write against delisting
Frances Sit reports
Pro-democracy activists have urged the public to write to the Education Bureau (EDB), to demand the withdrawal of its decision to deregister a teacher over the alleged use of some Hong Kong independence materials in class.

The group which included former and current lawmakers, is asking the public to write to the bureau online and register their protest at the government's decision.

They said the government's move is an erosion of academic autonomy, and it's unfair for officials to overrule the school's own ruling that the teacher committed no wrongdoing.

The activists also said it's a clear political interference into the sector to create a chilling effect.

Lucy Ng from Progressive Teachers' Alliance, who used to teach at a government school, said the government action is similar to the purge of teachers during the Cultural Revolution.

Ng said she is concerned that more teachers now will be disqualified and teachers will start self-censorship. "For example [subjects like] civil rights, social equality, and law and order, [these] definitely will be very difficult issues to work on at school,“ she said.

Democratic Party lawmaker Ted Hui said Education Secretary Kevin Yeung should step down, and called for a revamp of the complaints system.

That was echoed by NeoDemocrats' Roy Tam, a former secondary school science and liberal studies teacher, who said the current system is too complaint oriented, with the EDB trusting the complainants even anonymous ones.

He said it is unfair to teachers because they cannot reply to the complainant, and called for an independent body to handle complaints.

Education activist Isaac Cheng said the move would also affect students. He urged the government to listen to opinions of the students, so that schools won't become a place for political struggles.