Tiananmen Square crackdown

Hong Kong educators should leave politics at the door

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 13 June, 2018, 7:32pm
UPDATED : Wednesday, 13 June, 2018, 7:31pm

On June 4, at the afternoon assembly of the school where I have taught for over 20 years, the principal made a speech. His message to the six- to 12-year-olds gathered was crisp and clear: that students should go on the internet to look for content on June 4, and that the central government should vindicate the June 4 incident.

In a way, the principal mixed up education and politics. As teachers, our job is to educate, not to get elected. While we are entitled to our own views, in the delivery of our profession, we must not let those get in the way. We must be open-minded in order to cultivate open-mindedness among the young.

In fact, the Education Bureau does have guidelines for schools on the teaching of sensitive topics such as this. Those guidelines are fair and reasonable, and consistent with what education should be. The problem of course is when it comes to implementation.

Why do Chinese history lessons get a bad reputation in Hong Kong?

It is very sad to see our young people being sent to jail one after the other for actions driven by their political ideals. People can blame them all they want, but we in education should be the first to take the blame. When educators choose to ignore their role and the trust that parents placed on them, when they promulgate rather than educate, we as a society will eventually have to pay a heavy price.

Cheng May Ling, Yuen Long