A primary school teacher struck off because of mistakes in his teaching of history admitted on Monday that his knowledge of the subject could be better, but said he was actually hired to teach English and computer skills.
Speaking on the condition of anonymity, the teacher told the press that his inaccurate comment that Western powers waged the Opium Wars in the mid-19th century to rid China of opium was just one sentence of a 15-minute teaching video, in which he had also spoken about Hong Kong's handover to China, and the SAR and national flags.
The Education Bureau said last week that the teacher at Ho Lap Primary School had to be de-registered permanently because he had made serious mistakes, invented historical facts and had passed "baseless ideas" to his students.
But at his press conference, the teacher said he feels he was sacked because the authorities wanted to deal with him "politically".
He said he had only been in teaching for a year, and the school actually thought he had performed well overall and originally wanted to renew his contract.
"This whole matter was politicised. I feel resigned. I never imagined that making a mistake over a short history passage could cause the Education Bureau to de-register me. It was just a minor passage," he said.
"I think the whole matter sends out a chilling effect, other teachers may feel nervous."
The authorities had also flagged up that the teacher said in a video for a general studies class that paper was invented in ancient China to ensure that tortoises didn't become extinct because people were using their shells to write on.
He told reporters that he was only trying to teach in a humorous way and had made corrections immediately when the school found problems with the videos he made.
He added that he would like to apologise to students and parents over his mistakes.
Education sector lawmaker Ip Kin-yuen, who is helping the teacher appeal against the move to de-register him, accused the authorities of bowing to political pressure from the pro-Beijing camp.
Ip said the teacher did not need to be struck off when he could have been given a verbal warning, written warning or suspended from duties instead.
The Education Bureau responded to the teacher's comments by saying it's "regrettable" that he is trying to put pressure on the authorities. A spokesman also criticised him for speaking anonymously, saying that way, he doesn't have to take responsibility for his comments.
The official added that the teacher can lodge an appeal against the decision to strike him off.
Last month, the authorities struck off another teacher, accusing him of preparing pro-Hong Kong independence material for his colleagues to use in class.
Last updated: 2020-11-16 HKT 21:46
History isn't my subject, says de-registered teacher
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