HK Magazine Archive

I-Word Day is Here: Localist Teachers Beware

It's looking like "independence" is a dirty word these days...

PUBLISHED : Friday, 19 August, 2016, 11:44am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 19 October, 2016, 5:23pm

Education authorities have released a clarification to their warning that teachers could be fired for discussing the concept of Hong Kong independence in class, saying instead that they might be disciplined. We’ve been rummaging through the bins of the Education Department, and we’ve found a couple of discarded drafts of an internal memo... 

Dear all school principals, 

Any discussion of the “I-word” on school property or within school hours will result in immediate disciplinary action against the teacher responsible. Staff and students may no longer say or spell the word, or engage in oblique discussions of the matter.

Additionally, here are several more items that Hong Kong teachers are no longer allowed to discuss openly with students. 

  • The concept that Singapore is a nicer place than Hong Kong.
  • The words “suffrage,” “vote,” and “election.”
  • Phrases such as “airport baggage security.” 
  • It has also come to our attention that “concepts” and “ideas” are dangerous things that can undermine the internal safety and security of Hong Kong. 

Furthermore, “discussions” can often lead to disharmony within society, so we are considering phasing these out in class. “Questions,” in particular, fly in the face of everything this administration stands for. Therefore, from the following school year we will be phasing out all questions that do not appear on government-mandated tests.

Meanwhile, dictionaries in schools will be updated to reflect this new direction. All instances of the “I-word” will be removed, and certain definitions will be adjusted. For instance, the noun “sycophant” will henceforth be defined as “a strong, heroic figure; man or woman of impeccable virtue.” The entry for the verb “to lie” will be changed to more appropriately read “to express an idea with honor and integrity.”

Please make sure that all of your staff are aware of these changes, effective immediately. 

And go team!