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Tuesday, August 30, 2016, 22:20

No space for 'HK independence' in schools: CE


HONG KONG – Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying stressed on Tuesday that any advocacy of "Hong Kong independence" in educational institutions violates the Basic Law and Hong Kong’s constitutional status.

Speaking to reporters prior to the weekly Executive Council meeting, Leung said the fact that Hong Kong is part of China is not debatable and schools should take a stand that firmly acknowledges the fact.

He also said that in last year’s Policy Address, he had already noted the trend in society after observing books and articles which mentioned the ideology as well as schools where the ideology was spread.

"Being the city’s leader, I have the responsibility to warn people against the risk of such notion," Leung said, adding that every Hong Kong resident has the responsibility to safeguard national sovereignty.

“Localist” groups had earlier called for extensive discussion of the subject in secondary schools and urged groups in support of the movement to take part in student unions to further the cause.

The Education Bureau warned that teachers who advocate “Hong Kong independence” would face disqualification or be denied qualification, after the Academy of School Managers issued a statement on Aug 14 alleging that some teachers were promoting independence in schools and working toward forming groups to advocate for separation.

The Council on Professional Conduct in Education, a government advisory body, made a unanimous decision not to include guidelines for discussing “Hong Kong independence” in its code on Aug 29.

Chariman Chow Ping-yan said the current code offered adequate guidance for teachers to conduct discussions on controversial issues.

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