Outgoing education chief Kevin Yeung said the education authorities have “brought order out of chaos” during his term, nurturing students who love their country and Hong Kong.
The education chief wrote on his Facebook page on Wednesday that he felt reluctant to part with his colleagues and students, but he will be in charge of the new Culture, Sports and Tourism Bureau in the upcoming administration.
“Over the past few years, we have received support from across the board to carry out a large amount of work to bring order to chaos and strike at the root of evil, to provide a safe and calm learning environment for teachers and students, and to nurture patriotic and self-motivated [students] for the country and Hong Kong,” Yeung wrote.
In addition, he said the current administration had raised the annual budget for education to over HK$100 billion and successfully brought forward many educational policies – including improving the curriculum for primary and secondary education, as well as strengthening national education and values.
“…[A]ll of these were based on love and care for students, as well as the common beliefs and efforts by different stakeholders and the government,” Yeung added.
‘Bring order out of chaos’
The 59-year-old first joined the Education Bureau as the under secretary for education in 2012 and was appointed as the head of the bureau five years later.
During his term as Hong Kong’s education chief, he pushed through the controversial revamp of Liberal Studies – a subject criticised by pro-Beijing voices as encouraging participation in protests.
Textbooks under the replacement curriculum linked the 2019 demonstrations and unrest to foreign interference, and denied Hong Kong was a British colony. Meanwhile, politically sensitive books have been pulled from library shelves.
Yeung also supported the deletion of the phrase “separation of powers” from teaching materials, while several teachers were sacked for political reasons on his watch.
Starting from July 1, Yeung’s position will be taken up by the incumbent under secretary for education Choi Yuk-lin, who previously acted as the vice-chair of a pro-Beijing teachers’ union and actively supported the subsequently-axed national education proposal in 2012.
Support press freedom & help us surpass 1,000 monthly Patrons: 100% independent, governed by an ethics code & not-for-profit, Hong Kong Free Press is #PressingOn with impartial, award-winning, frontline coverage.