At a question and answer session in Legco, Lam said that without a doubt, national education in Hong Kong schools has been deficient.
Her administration has already made improvements, but results won’t be seen straight away, she said.
Lam said state leaders expect national education to be implemented well, and this is part of Beijing’s five-year plan.
“If people, especially the next generation, do not have a sense of national identity, and they don’t support mainland integration, all the [mainland] policy support would amount to nothing,” Lam told lawmakers, pointing to Greater Bay plans and stock market links.
She said national education has already been strengthened “comprehensively”, offering a planned revamp of the liberal studies subject as an example.
The CE said the new curriculum from September will have a heavy focus on “China today”.
Pro-Beijing figures have blamed liberal studies in secondary schools for encouraging young people to take part in the social unrest of 2019.
“Citizenship and social development” has been chosen as the new name for the subject, although in Legco, Lam called it “national and social development” by mistake.