School students hold signs during a pro-democracy protests near their school in Hong Kong on June 12, 2020. Photograph:( AFP )
The city’s Education Bureau said that schools shall not provide any reading material which violates the law
In the aftermath of the implementation of China’s controversial national security law in Hong Kong, which bans criticism of the Chinese administration, and subverts pro-democracy protests, schools are now being asked to review textual content.
"Positively teach students"
On Monday, the city’s Education Bureau said that schools shall not provide any reading material which violates the law, in a bid to “positively teach” students regarding the new law.
The security law, which was imposed last week, criminalises secession, terrorism, subversion, and collusion with foreign forces. Those found guilty may serve prison sentences, even life imprisonment.
While the critics have called it an attack on the “One country, two systems” mode of administration under which Hong Kong was given to China by Britain, Beijing claims that this will only address “loopholes” in the current legislation.
Recently, books from libraries on the topic of democracy recently disappeared. Additionally, many leaders and activists have also gone missing-in-action.
The Education Bureau has directed teachers to review “all teaching material, including books”.
"As with other serious crimes or immoral behaviour that is not socially acceptable, materials should be removed and re-selected," the bureau said.
Pro-democracy books disappear
Many books written by activists like Joshua Wong and Tanya Chan are no longer available for reading.
Even though China claims it will let Hong Kong take care of its affairs, in rare circumstances people could be extradited to mainland China. In essence, this law materialises the goals of the now-panned extradition law while effectively ensuring no dissent against Chinese administration brews in the financial hub.
Fearing jail time, or worse, naysayers of the Chinese government will be put in prison for three-ten years depending on the gravity of crimes. Those who commit “serious crimes” may also face life imprisonment.
What emerged as a protest against China’s now scrapped extradition law for Hong Kongers, turned into a larger demand for democracy and against Chinese influence in the city.
The city is judged by its mini-constitution called “Basic law”. Any actions by people qualifying as “endangering the state” may be used to arrest people.