Secretary for Education Christine Choi said on Monday students must understand that their goals and dreams in life are linked to the future of the country.
She also said they must learn from a recent speech President Xi Jinping made on Hong Kong.
Choi was responding to questions from Business and Professionals Alliance lawmaker Benson Luk and the Liberal Party's Michael Lee at a Legco subcommittee on national education on how schools can learn more from the president's speech in Hong Kong on July 1.
"All young people must grasp the important concepts [in the speech] so that they understand their goals and dreams in life must be closely related to the future of the country," she said.
The minister also said her bureau will hold sessions with school principals and teachers to study Xi's speech.
Another lawmaker, vice-chairman of the Federation of Education Workers Tang Fei, asked how officials can measure the effectiveness of national education.
Choi said if students show they want China to do well during flag-raising ceremonies or exchange tours as judged by teachers, this would mean the target is met.
Meanwhile, several lawmakers cast doubt over the effectiveness of mainland study tours on promoting national education.
Subcommittee chairwoman Priscilla Leung said the mainland tours aren't as good as those offered in other countries.
"In fact, many students have come back from these visits [saying] they don't believe in what they saw, [they claimed] everything was staged," she said.
In response, education officials said the study tours often allow students to visit places not available to others. They also said they've discussed with their mainland counterparts to ensure that students can learn something important from the sites they visit.
The DAB's Edward Leung said schoolchildren who choose not to go on mainland study tours do not face consequences.
Choi said the goal is not for students to chase marks when they make the trips, but for them to learn more about the country.