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Monday, September 21, 2020, 08:58
Educators back plan to teach security law in HK schools
By Chen Zimo
Monday, September 21, 2020, 08:58 By Chen Zimo

The key to successfully teaching the Law of the People’s Republic of China on Safeguarding National Security in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region lies in incorporating social events and international situations that endanger national security into the classroom, education stakeholders told China Daily on Sunday.

They made the suggestions in response to an announcement by the city’s Education Bureau that a new curriculum and teaching materials on the National Security Law were under preparation.

Nicholas Muk Ka-chun, a teacher at Pui Kiu Middle School in North Point, said teaching could include national law-related cases in the past three months to show students what constitutes violations of the law.

Muk said that teenagers today have been exposed to social events through the internet, therefore they need to be guided to understand these events correctly.

Teenagers today have been exposed to social events through the internet, therefore they need to be guided to understand these events correctly, said Nicholas Muk Ka-chun, a teacher at Pui Kiu Middle School in North Point

More importantly, Muk said, the materials should tell students that the law targets only a limited number of circumstances. In such way, students could identify false claims in society that have demonized the law and help them realize that the law has barely had an impact on their normal life.

ALSO READ: Security education should be ‘independent subject’

Muk added that since most teachers have no background in law, the bureau should organize seminars or training for them to learn about the law and discuss teaching approaches. 

Dickson Lam, the father of a 15-year-old and a 7-year-old, suggested the materials should include Chinese history, in particular the history of China being invaded. Only by learning what the consequences might be of national security being attacked, could young students understand the need to safeguard it and enact a law. 

Meanwhile, the material could also illustrate what challenges and risks China faces in the international arena, so that students would get a better understanding of the reasons behind actions China has taken to safeguard its own development interests, Lam noted. 

READ MORE: Education chief: Security law to be taught in schools

Chu Wai-lam, principal of Fung Kai No 1 Primary School in Sheung Shui, said education on national security should go beyond classrooms, therefore extracurricular activities are ideal to deepen students’ understanding of what they are taught in classes. 

He referred to the community activities his school organized in the past, during which students were encouraged to demonstrate what they’ve learned from the national education through artworks, such as a blackboard newspaper about the Basic Law, or decorating the campus for Chinese Culture Week. These activities are welcomed by students and parents, as they strengthen both the knowledge and sense of social responsibility of students, Chu told China Daily during a phone interview. 

The National Security Law was enacted on June 30. Article 10 of the law stipulates that the special administrative region shall promote national security education in schools and universities to raise the awareness of Hong Kong residents of national security and of the obligation to abide by the law.

mollychen@chinadailyhk.com

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