Schools told to hold weekly flag-raising ceremonies

Schools must hold flag-raising ceremonies every week and on special occasions starting next year, according to guidelines issued by the Education Bureau on Monday.

The national anthem should be played and sung at the ceremonies – which are also to be held on the school day that precedes or follows New Year’s Day, the SAR’s establishment day and National Day – a statement added.

It said the national flag should be raised every day, as well as the SAR regional flag if there are enough flagpoles.

The bureau also “strongly advised” schools to conduct ceremonies on “important days and special occasions”, such as graduation ceremonies, swimming galas and sports days.

“To cultivate students’ sense of national identity is one of the key learning goals of primary and secondary education and also the educational obligation of schools,” a spokesman said.

The circular was issued to all primary and secondary schools, but a spokesman said kindergartens should follow suit as far as conditions allow, so children can learn about the flag and anthem “of their own country from an early age”.

International schools and other private schools are also encouraged to refer to the requirements, and tertiary institutions must make reference to the directions given by the education secretary to primary and secondary schools, the spokesman said.