77 primary schools give complete no to national education curriculum
Concern group's survey shows that 77 primary schools are adamant they will not introduce 'brainwashing' subject over next three years
Almost 80 primary schools have "strongly stated" they will not introduce national education in the next three years, according to a parent group's survey.
The 77 schools include 57 primary schools operated by the Catholic diocese and 11 operated by the Methodist church, as well as Jordan Road Government Primary School and Kwun Tong Government Primary School.
The poll by the Parents Concern Group on National Education drew responses from 354 of 500 primary schools. It found that a further 137 would not introduce the contentious programme this year. The results on its website at www.parentsconcern.hk, came as opponents of the subject, which they call "brainwashing" , made last-ditch efforts to have it withdrawn before the school year starts on Monday.
The government wants primary schools to introduce the subject voluntarily this year and secondary schools next year before it becomes compulsory in all schools by 2016.
Those that will not introduce it this year include the elite Diocesan Boys' School Primary Division, Diocesan Girls' Junior School, Diocesan Preparatory School, Heep Yunn School and St Paul's Co-educational College.
In response to the survey, the Education Bureau said primary schools were not required to introduce the national education curriculum this year.
Meanwhile, about 80 members of the protest group Scholarism, made up of secondary school pupils, set up camp outside the government headquarters in Admiralty and called for the curriculum to be withdrawn before school starts.
There was a minor scuffle at 4pm when the protesters refused requests by officials to leave. Three 18-year-old members of the group began a 72-hour hunger strike at the same time.
The three pupils are Lily Wong Lee-lee, Ivan Lam Long-yin and another who prefers to be known only as Kaiser. Sichuan activist Chen Yunfei said on Twitter that he would also go on a hunger strike for 24 hours.
Wong, who studies at Tack Ching Girls' Secondary School, said: "We are giving up the most basic necessity - food - to show the government our steadfastness in demanding the curriculum be withdrawn."
About 200 people attended a forum organised by Scholarism last night.
Andrew Shum Wai-nam of the Civil Alliance Against National Education said a demonstration planned on Saturday outside government headquarters would be "like a carnival".