'Consult public on national security education now' - RTHK
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'Consult public on national security education now'

2021-02-05 HKT 10:57
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  • Ip Kin-yuen says it's not too late to consult the public, especially teachers, on national security education. File photo: RTHK
    Ip Kin-yuen says it's not too late to consult the public, especially teachers, on national security education. File photo: RTHK
The vice-president of the Professional Teachers' Union, Ip Kin-yuen, says he is astonished to see the "vast scope" of the government's proposed national security education guidelines, as well as the lack of consultation with teachers before it was drawn up.

Ip told RTHK's Hong Kong Today programme on Friday morning that it's not too late to consult teachers and parents now, adding that members of the public should be allowed to voice their views.

The guidelines – which were sent to local schools on Thursday – said students must learn about national security issues in a variety of classes, including Chinese, general studies, music, biology and economics.

The government said children as young as six will be taught about specific categories of offences.

"It actually reaches the very details of every subject. It also touches on how the school should be managed. Many of this content is actually closely related to the daily activities of the teachers," Ip noted.

"Teachers should have a say, and also they should be able to have the chance to ask questions or to speak out their opinion," he added.

Otherwise, Ip said, teachers may have a lot of worries and anxiety, because they won't know what they can and cannot do.

"The question is how it can be done in a professional way. Teachers should be allowed to ask whether those ideas are suitable for students to learn at that particular developmental stage," he said.

"We have to discuss these things, and make use of our real experience to check whether this is appropriate... If it is too difficult for the students, I think there should be adjustments or even [items] omitted from the curriculum."