Hong Kong teachers might have to pass a test on the territory’s National Security Law, a top government official said, as the local education system is remade to foster greater loyalty to Beijing.
Examinations would bring requirements for government educators in line with those facing civil servants, Hong Kong Secretary for Education Kevin Yeung (楊潤雄) said in an interview with Radio Television Hong Kong published yesterday.
The territory has used the Beijing-imposed law to arrest more than 150 people on charges carrying sentences as long as life in prison and justify a wave of new policies on everything from tax exemptions to film censorship.
“We have to work on national education, national security education, and we hope to foster students’ national identity,” Yeung told the broadcaster. “Teachers are students’ guidance, so we expect them to have a certain degree of understanding on the Basic Law.”
The territory’s education system has been overhauled since Beijing blamed what it called Hong Kong’s insufficiently patriotic youth for mass protests in 2019.
Since then, sweeping changes to the curriculum have seen children as young as six taught to memorize offenses criminalized by the law, a National Security Day has been launched in schools and teachers were advised to report on children who breach the law.
Government educators are already tested on the Basic Law, the territory’s mini-constitution that guarantees free speech and assembly — rights not protected in mainland China.
The new test could be rolled out to teachers in government-aided schools and kindergartens, Yeung said.
Civil servants are to be tested on the security law — which criminalizes subversion, secession, terrorism and collusion with foreign powers — from the middle of next year, government plans submitted to the Hong Kong legislature this week, local media reported.
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