The Education Bureau should provide national security teaching materials for schools, Hong Kong’s former president of the Legislative Council said on the 24th anniversary of the city’s Handover.

“I have gotten in touch with teachers in different schools during these times, in general [they] hope that, apart from subject curriculum, [the Education Bureau] can provide teaching materials for the classroom,” he said on Thursday.

Former president of Hong Kong’s Legislative Council Jasper Tsang attending a flag raising ceremony at Pui Kiu Middle School on July 1, 2021. Photo: Candice Chau/HKFP.

The comments came after Tsang, along with Secretary for Education Kevin Yeung attended a flag-raising ceremony at Pui Kiu Middle School in North Point, where Tsang is the school’s chancellor.

Yeung said in a Facebook post on Thursday that he hoped that students could learn more about the country, and that they should study hard to “grasp Hong Kong’s opportunity in fitting in the country’s grand scheme of development in the future.”

“I encourage students to learn Chinese culture and Chinese history,” the post read. “Including the Chinese Community Party’s course of struggle in uniting people to create a new China, as well as the great cause of leading the country to stand tall, become more prosperous and stronger.”

Hong Kong’s Secretary for Education Kevin Yeung attending a flag raising ceremony at Pui Kiu Middle School on July 1, 2021. Photo: Candice Chau/HKFP.

The government has proposed plans to include national security education in Hong Kong’s school curriculum.

Attendees of a flag raising ceremony at Pui Kiu Middle School on July 1, 2021. Photo: Candice Chau/HKFP.

The bureau had issued new guidelines for subjects including Economics, Chinese History, General History and Social Studies and held a “National Security Education Day” earlier this year.

Flag-raising ceremony

Close to 200 people took part in the ceremony, including kindergarten children, their parents, primary and secondary school students. The ceremony was conducted by guards of honour from the People’s Liberation Army Hong Kong Garrison.

Guards of honour from the People’s Liberation Army Hong Kong Garrison. Photo: Candice Chau/HKFP.

Mr. Lui, who brought his 6-year-old son to watch the ceremony, told HKFP that he wanted his son to “feel the atmosphere of a flag-raising ceremony.”

“We didn’t have many opportunities before because of the coronavirus pandemic,” said Lui. “Now that the pandemic has eased a bit, and large scale events have resumed… I want to bring my son here.”

Mr. Lui and his family attending a flag raising ceremony at Pui Kiu Middle School on July 1, 2021. Photo: Candice Chau/HKFP.

Mrs. So, another parent who brought her kindergartener to the ceremony told HKFP that she was “honoured” to be able to bring her son to get a feel of the ceremony.

“Actually I want him to learn about his own country and his identity, because in Hong Kong, we don’t have as strong an identity as Chinese, that’s why I want to train him from a younger age,” said So.

While the government’s and other flag-raising ceremonies were allowed to be held under social-distancing restrictions, a pro-democracy rally was banned by the police citing the Covid-19 “emergency.” The force had sealed off Victoria Park to prevent people from gathering there.

Candice Chau

Candice is a reporter at Hong Kong Free Press. She previously worked as a researcher at a local think tank. She has a BSocSc in Politics and International Relations from the University of Manchester and a MSc in International Political Economy from London School of Economics.