Hong Kong teachers in the firing line over surge in students joining anti-government protests, getting arrested

Oct 12, 2019 by

Schools criticised for failure to rein in students boycotting classes, staging sit-ins and forming human chains on campus.

  • Schools criticised for failure to rein in students boycotting classes, staging sit-ins and forming human chains on campus
  • Some slam Education Bureau for ‘unclear guidelines’ about unrest, others say it is interfering too much in schools
It was the start of the new school term and secondary schoolteacher Kwan Chin-ki found himself facing students eager to know his position on Hong Kong’s ongoing, increasingly violent

anti-government protests.

A liberal studies teacher for more than 10 years, he says it is tricky for teachers to handle such questions.

“We have to be particularly careful,” he says. “Expressing our personal political opinions in school is inappropriate because students may listen to teachers and follow their teachers’ positions blindly.”

Instead of sharing his views, Kwan says, he encourages his students to find out more about the social unrest by gathering information from various sources.

Since the start of term last month, the city’s more than 50,000 primary and secondary schoolteachers have come under pressure from the authorities, students and parents, and have been criticised by mainland media for failure to rein in students taking part in the protests, now in their fifth month.

The Education Bureau says it has received 58 complaints between mid-June and mid-September about teachers’ conduct in relation to the social unrest. Two cases were substantiated, five were not, and the rest are being investigated, the bureau says.

Source: Hong Kong teachers in the firing line over surge in students joining anti-government protests, getting arrested | South China Morning Post

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