A Hong Kong deputy to China’s national legislature has said he will propose a cross-border national education initiative for local students at a high-level conference in Beijing next month.

RTHK reported that Jeffrey Lam Kin-fung’s national education proposal involves “cooperation between prominent mainland experts and the local education sector,” to draft teaching materials that would prevent the Hong Kong independence movement from infiltrating primary and secondary schools.

Jeffrey lam kin fung
Jeffrey Lam Kin-fung.

Lam announced his proposals alongside fellow members of the pro-Beijing Business and Professionals Alliance for Hong Kong, which includes a total of four deputies to the National People’s Congress.

The annual “two meetings” of the National People’s Congress and the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference – the top political advisory body – will take place in Beijing in early March.

According to RTHK, Lam said that the proposed teaching materials would “strengthen students’ understanding of the country’s constitution and their national identity.”

He added that academic institutions in Hong Kong and mainland China would cooperate to provide support local teachers in educating students against the pro-independence movement.

In 2012, the proposed implementation of Moral and National Education in primary and secondary schools was scrapped following protests by 120,000 students at the Legislative Council. Opponents said it was a political tool by the government to build a sense of patriotism among local students.

Anti-national education curriculum protest.
Anti-national education curriculum protest. Photo: Wikimedia Commons.

In recent months, student-led pro-independence groups have formed in schools across Hong Kong, with some distributing pamphlets on the first day of the academic year. The Education Bureau warned teachers not to advocate independence, and has also threatened police involvement over such activities.

Elson Tong is a graduate of international relations and former investigations consultant. He has also written for Stand News.