Translator: EA; Reviewer: Wencheng
According to【Stand News】on October 6th, the Education Bureau cancelled the registration qualification of a teacher at Mission Primary School in Kowloon Tong currently, accusing him of spreading the message of “Hong Kong independence” in teaching materials. A senior principal told【Stand News】that the teacher’s disqualification is “political, no doubt about it”. Even if the authorities determine that the teaching materials have “conveyed awareness”, there is no clear, actual information showing that the teacher was “spreading” Hong Kong independence or any political ideas”, describing the authorities’ choice of words as “far-fetched and absolutely unusual” .
【Stand News】Checking the written information of the Education Bureau’s reply to the Finance Committee, from 2010 to 2019, the Education Bureau cancelled or rejected 98 teacher registrations. The Education Bureau stated that the teachers concerned mainly committed sexual offences, sex-related offences or fraud offences, as well as repeated violations of some minor offences, or had serious integrity problems. In this regard, the senior principal said frankly that cancellation of teacher registration was originally a serious punishment. In the past, most of them involved serious criminal offences, such as indecent students, theft at school, etc, and the cancellation of registration would only be considered after the teachers concerned are tried and sentenced by the court to ensure that they had sufficient opportunities to defend themselves.
The senior principal believes that the teacher involved in the incident did not meet the authorities’ standards of “values” at most, and did not instill in the students that “Hong Kong independence is right and Hong Kong independence is the way out”, and the authorities described the teacher as planned to “spreading” the Hong Kong independence message, which is a far-fetched allegation.
Joshua Rosenzweig, director of Amnesty International’s China team, said the government’s “harsh and unwarranted” punishments against teachers for carrying out their duties were “a wake-up call for the education sector,” as educators worried about the consequences of discussing current affairs, politics and human rights in the classroom.