‘Mr. Owl, What Is National Security?’: Chinese Government Releases Anti-Democracy Curriculum For Children
Hong Kong has mandated children be taught an anti-democracy curriculum focused on protecting national security, according to Hong Kong’s Education Bureau (EDB).
The new guidelines have been put into place to bolster Chinese national security and sovereignty Thursday, according to a press release from the Hong Kong EDB. The curriculum handed to Hong Kong schools demands the National Security Law be taught to children as young as six. The National Security Law was enacted to handle pro-democracy protests that took place in Hong Kong last June, according to BBC.
“The “reformed” Liberal Studies curriculum would turn to brain washing on patriotism, which is not teachers’ wish to be,” Tin Fong Chak, vice president of the Hong Kong Professional Teachers Union tweeted Thursday.
“Is the point to allow students to learn about the country or to only feed them certain ‘correct’ information?” Fong Chak continued.
The “reformed” Liberal Studies curriculum would turn to brain washing on patriotism, which is not teachers’ wish to be.
//Is the point to allow students to learn about the country or to only feed them certain ‘correct’ information?”//https://t.co/wgGM2iJNQ1
— TIN Fong Chak (@tinfc) February 5, 2021
Younger children will be taught to respect the national song, national security and flag hoisting, according to BBC. Older students will learn about the relationship between Hong Kong and China, as well as how not to break the National Security Law, according to BBC.
All children will be monitored by their teachers to ensure any support of a pro-democracy movement is reported and handled accordingly, according to BBC. If a student is discovered breaching these guidelines, teachers may be held accountable for their actions, according to CNA correspondent Dennis Chong.
All songs and books deemed a danger to national security will be banned from school grounds, BBC reported. (RELATED: REPORT: Hong Kong Police Now Sifting Through Arrested Pro-Democracy Activists’ Financial Records)
“This is really set to put teachers in a very difficult position,” Chong said.
An educational video released by the Hong Kong EDB to promote the new guidelines shows two young children asking, “Mr. Owl, what is national security?”
The animated owl explains that the National Security Law was put into place “for the sake of Hong Kong’s continuous development and long-term prosperity.”
“The National Security Law is enacted for the purpose of preventing, suppressing and imposing punishment for acts and activities that endanger national security. In particular, preventive efforts should be accorded priority in order to minimise the need for suppression and punishment,” a spokesman for the EDB said.
“The assessment model now does not need students to show any high-level critical thinking skills. They only need to repeat what they have learned or perform simple analysis,” Cheung Yui-fai, director of the Hong Kong Professional Teachers Union told the South China Morning Post.
“This is not just a loss for our students, it could even hurt them ultimately,” Cheuing Yui-fai said.