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SED on national security education and curriculum reform

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     Following is the transcript of remarks by the Secretary for Education, Mr Kevin Yeung, at a media session after attending radio programmes today (April 10):

Reporter: How should schools…(inaudible) on National Security Education Day? Do you have any specific requirements for schools to do?

Secretary for Education: The coming April 15 is the first National Security Education Day after the passing of the Hong Kong National Security Law. We have issued a circular back in March to encourage schools to arrange more activities on that day to introduce the national security concept or more national security education for their students. So schools could arrange, for example, flag-raising ceremonies or some briefings or seminars for their students. Also they could arrange a number of activities for their students to participate so as to know more about the national security education and also this concept. As the Education Bureau, we have also organised two major activities for students to participate.

Reporter: There are reports saying that the University Grants Committee (UGC) has issued a circular telling the universities that they will have to teach national security education in order to…(inaudible)?

Secretary for Education: I think under the law, article 10 of the law, it has already been said that universities are asked, they have the responsibilities, to help promote national security education to the community including students. Specifically you asked about the communication between the UGC and the universities, I think I am not in a position to comment on that.

Reporter: Will teachers be required to strictly follow the school curriculum when they teach the new subject? Also will they be not allowed to teach issues such as Tiananmen Square crackdown or Cultural Revolution…(inaudible)?

Secretary for Education: I think in the school’s teaching and learning, teachers have to follow the curriculum framework and also to achieve the objective of the curriculum. Within that framework, I think there is still flexibility for teachers to exercise their professional judgement to amend some of the materials to cater for the different needs of their students. In terms of any particular subject or issue whether they could discuss or not, I think that is more a professional judgement of teachers. So long as it is within the curriculum framework, and also it could meet the curriculum objectives and it is suitable for the age group of students, I think that should be OK.

(Please also refer to the Chinese portion of the transcript.)