'Teachers need not worry if they love the country' - RTHK
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'Teachers need not worry if they love the country'

2021-04-10 HKT 12:57
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  • 'Teachers need not worry if they love the country'
Education Secretary Kevin Yeung on Saturday played down concerns that teachers may easily cross political "red lines" when they teach the revamped liberal studies secondary school subject in future, insisting that they could use their professional judgement to decide whether certain topics should be brought up in the classroom.

He made the comment after the Education Bureau decided to rename the compulsory subject for secondary four to six pupils as "Citizenship and Social Development" last week.

The revamped subject will contain three, instead of the current six modules, with more emphasis to be placed on the country’s development, the constitution, the Basic Law and the rule of law. All the teaching materials will also be vetted by the government.

Asked whether teachers should worry about potentially breaching the national security law when they teach the new curriculum, Yeung said national security offences are serious offences, and people generally don't have to worry about breaking the security law if they love the country.

The minister also left open the question on whether teachers could still teach topics such as the Tiananmen Square crackdown and the Cultural Revolution when asked by reporters about it after a radio show.

“I think in the schools’ teaching and learning, teachers have to follow the curriculum framework, and also achieve the objectives of the curriculum. But within that framework I think there is still flexibility for the teachers to exercise their professional judgement to amend some of the materials to cater for the different needs of the students.”

“In terms of any particular subject or issues whether they could discuss or not, I think that involves the professional judgement of the teacher. And so long as it is within the curriculum framework and also it could meet the curriculum objectives and it’s suitable for the age group of the students, I think that should be okay,” Yeung said.

Meanwhile, the minister revealed that his bureau was handling a complaint against a teacher, who may have to be de-registered , but added that they will further consider the teacher’s explanation.

He also said around 40 complaints against teachers had been substantiated on a preliminary basis, on top of around 20 other cases about which the bureau was still trying to gather more information from schools.