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Monday, January 13, 2020, 22:04
Ridding Hong Kong's teaching of rotten apples
By China Daily
Monday, January 13, 2020, 22:04 By China Daily

Riot police arrest a black-clad radical near the Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Nov 18, 2019. (PHOTO / CHINA DAILY)

Some parents in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, worried that their own son or daughter might get caught up in the anti-government shenanigans and be arrested for breaking the law, will be somewhat calmer of mind after Chief Executive Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor promised that the SAR government will be tough on teachers who violate the law or their professional codes of conduct.

Chief Executive Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor promised to get tough with those black sheep who have brought tremendous damage to the reputation of Hong Kong's civil service as well as society.

While expressing her sincere gratitude to the majority of teachers and civil servants for diligently shouldering their responsibilities and performing their duties in difficult circumstances over the past seven months, Lam promised, in an article published on social media on Sunday evening, to get tough with those black sheep who have brought tremendous damage to the reputation of Hong Kong's civil service as well as society.

Lam's renewed vow to give her full support to both the secretary for education and secretary for civil service in carrying out their responsibilities to hold unscrupulous teachers and civil servants accountable for any misconduct is fully justifiable and understandable, given the staggering arrest figures released by the police recently. Of the more than 6,000 people arrested for protest-related offenses so far, about 2,400 are students.

More worryingly, some 1,000 of them are teenage students from more than 300 of Hong Kong's 400-plus secondary schools, with the youngest arrested being a 12-year-old boy.

Anyone who argues that those erring youngsters have sufficient knowledge of politics or are capable of participating in politics sensibly conflicts with common sense.

That so many of Hong Kong's youngsters only know how to vent their frustration and discontent over social or political issues via vandalism and rioting attests to the gross dereliction of duty on the part of their educators.

Worse, some schools have become hotbeds for political propaganda that has radicalized Hong Kong's youths. These schools have become bases for distorting and corrupting the minds of young people.

More outrageously, some unethical teachers have allowed their own political beliefs to override students' well-being and have egged their students on in their anti-social antics or even personally led their participation in unlawful activities over the past seven months. So far, more than 80 teachers have been arrested for protest-related offenses.

Aside from worried parents, all of those who are fair-minded and unaffected by political prejudice are longing for prompt and strong government actions to rid the civil service and education sector of rotten apples for the sake of Hong Kong's youth and the city's future.

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