The Hong Kong government has sought since 2007 to introduce "national education" courses into primary and secondary school curriculum, aimed at strengthening students' "national identity awareness" and nurturing patriotism towards China. The programme has met with increasing public opposition in recent years, with many in Hong Kong seeing it as a brainwashing attempt by the Chinese Communist Party to suppress dissent.
HK backs down on national education
The Hong Kong government on Saturday backed down on a plan to force school children to take national education classes, after weeks of protests and on the eve of crucial legislative polls.
Hong Kong's Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying told a press conference that his government would not seek to implement an originally planned 2015 deadline to introduce mandatory national education in all of the city's primary schools.
“The amendment of this policy means that we are giving the authority to the schools. The schools are given the authority to decide when and how they would like to introduce the moral and national education,” Leung told reporters.