A total of 54 Hong Kong secondary schools have highlighted national security education in their profiles for the upcoming school year, 10 of which have set up special teams to tackle the matter.

File Photo: GovHK.

The Committee on Home-School Co-operation released its latest Secondary School Profiles list on Tuesday, compiling information on more than 400 local secondary schools to allow primary school students and their parents to choose their preferred school.

HKFP found that 44 schools stated they either intended to promote national security education or had already integrated related content in their curriculums or activities. Among them, several top institutions, such as the Diocesan Boys’ School, St. Paul’s Convent School and St. Paul’s Secondary School, said they had already implemented national security education into their teaching.

“The objective is to deepen students’ understanding of the country’s development and national security, enhance their sense of national identity and nurture them as good law-abiding citizens,” the profile for Diocesan Boys’ School read.

Other schools said they would nurture students’ awareness of national security with various activities, such as the Chinese Cultural and Art Ambassador Programme in the Greater Bay Area, organised by the Chinese Y.M.C.A. Secondary School.

Secondary school students in Hong Kong. File photo: GovHK.

Meanwhile, 10 other schools said they had established designated committees for national security education, including Pui Ching Middle School, S.K.H. St. Simon’s Lui Ming Choi Secondary School and N.T. Heung Yee Kuk Yuen Long District Secondary School.

Among the 54 schools to highlight national security education, six said they had trained teachers in national security education.

For example, St. Joseph’s College said it “strategically [arranged] teachers to attend courses and seminars organised by the [Education Bureau],” which included “national and national security education.”

Hong Kong’s education authorities have emphasised the need to promote national security education and patriotism in schools in recent years, after many students participated in the 2019 pro-democracy protests and unrest.

A secondary school in Ho Man Tin. File photo: Hillary Leung/HKFP.

Primary and secondary schools have been told by the Education Bureau that “safeguarding national security is the constitutional responsibility of the HKSAR and also the common obligation of all Hong Kong residents.” Institutions have been given guidelines on how to integrate national security content into existing subjects.

46 less form 1 classes

There will also be 46 fewer Form One classes in the upcoming school year than in the current one, according to local media.

Sha Tin District, which lost 11 classes, was the worst affected area. It was followed by Yuen Long, which saw a reduction of six classes. Secondary schools in the Eastern District and in Wan Chai will have four fewer classes each, as well.

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Peter Lee

Peter Lee is a reporter for HKFP. He was previously a freelance journalist at Initium, covering political and court news. He holds a Global Communication bachelor degree from CUHK.