Govt lays out national security education programme


  • 2021-02-04 HKT 20:11″ title=”Students in Hong Kong will start learning about the national security law from the junior primary level, according to the government’s curriculum framework. File Photo: RTHK”>


    Students in Hong Kong will start learning about the national security law from the junior primary level, according to the government's curriculum framework. File Photo: RTHK
    Students in Hong Kong will start learning about the national security law from the junior primary level, according to the government’s curriculum framework. File Photo: RTHK

The Education Bureau has laid out its vision for national security education in local schools, under which primary school pupils as young as six will be taught about the four categories of national security offences; high-schoolers will learn that the security law has no impact on rights and freedoms; and the subject will be broached in a variety of classes – from Chinese, to biology and music.

This is according to notices education authorities sent to local schools on Thursday, and forms part of the administration’s efforts to beef up national security education in the SAR as required by the national security law imposed by Beijing last year.

The guidelines say students will start the process early, in junior primary.

The young students will have to learn about the four major offences under the national security law – secession, subversion, terrorism and collusion with a foreign power. They will also be taught about the origins of the Basic Law and the One Country, Two Systems principle.

Older primary school students would start to learn more about the relationship between the mainland and the SAR; the importance of mainland agencies in Hong Kong; and the duties of the executive, legislative and judicial branches of government in protecting national security.

Secondary school students would be taught about specific crimes under the security law; the opportunities and challenges that China faces in the international arena; Hong Kong’s constitutional duty to enact Article 23 legislation; and that the national security law does not affect rights and freedoms enjoyed by the people of Hong Kong.

Students would learn about these issues in a variety of subject classes, including Chinese, General Studies, and even seemingly unrelated subjects like music, biology and economics.

Schools are also asked to teach national security issues through different activities, such as themed competitions, visits to the Office of the Commissioner of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and exchange trips to the mainland.

Education authorities also said schools should prevent anyone from teaching law-breaking behaviour, and stop any activities that may breach the security law. Administrators must take appropriate follow-up actions and punish those responsible.

The guidelines also say schools should prevent politics from infiltrating local campuses, and that they should be cautious when inviting outside groups or individuals to participate in school activities.