fredag 5. februar 2021

'No room for debate or compromise' as Hong Kong introduces sweeping national security rules for schools

Hong Kong has introduced sweeping new restrictions for how schools operate, months after the Beijing government imposed a new national security law giving authorities wide-ranging powers to crack down on vaguely defined political crimes.

For years, parents and students in the semi-autonomous city have feared a shift toward China-style "patriotic education," with a previous attempt to introduce such a curriculum defeated by mass protests in 2012. The new rules, coming in the wake of both the new security law and a crackdown on the city's opposition movement, go far beyond what was previously mooted. In a circular issued to schools Thursday, the city's Education Bureau (EDB) said that "as far as national security is concerned, there is no room for debate or compromise."

A spokesman for the bureau said that in accordance with the national security law, "preventive efforts should be accorded priority in order to minimize the need for suppression and punishment."
"Schools have a significant role to play" in this, he added.