The Hong Kong government has revealed to the education sector its plans to re-purpose Liberal Studies in the city's schools, skewing it towards the patriotic indoctrination favored by Beijing.
The decade-old Liberal Studies program, blamed by China for a string of mass, pro-democracy and anti-government protests in Hong Kong in recent years, will now be repurposed as a vehicle for China's brand of "patriotic education," a proposal shelved following mass protests in 2009, according to a 45-page circular sent to schools in recent days.
The Education Bureau plans to "optimize" the program around four core subjects, under which topics will include "national security" and "national identity," as well as material relating to China's recent achievements. There is also a module on "Chinese culture and modern life," which requires students to complete a project on some aspect of life in mainland China. The name of the subject will also be changed, with "citizenship and country," "citizenship and social studies," and "social education," proposed as alternatives.