Three Hong Kong schools stress impartiality over national education
Three primary schools that will teach national education have posted curriculum guides online to dismiss speculation about the use of biased learning materials.
Acting on mounting public concern, the three have laid out key teaching points on their websites to reiterate their impartiality on the subject.
Detractors fear national education may become a tool for brainwashing pupils.
New Territories Women and Juveniles Welfare Association Limited Leung Sing Tak Primary School in Tai Po says in a statement issued to its alumni on Tuesday that it has merged the national curriculum into civic and moral education teaching.
It says the learning materials do not make any reference to the controversial "China Model" teaching guide, which contains no mention of the Cultural Revolution or the June 4, 1989 crackdown in Tiananmen Square and portrays a centralised political regime as a "selfless" contributor to stability.
Headmaster Chu King-yuen said the China module had been incorporated into the school curriculum since 2000.
"We aim to give our students a broader scope of knowledge," he said. "Hong Kong has been handed over to China, so it's essential for students to learn more about our history and identity."
The other two schools are STFA Lee Kam Primary School and Po Leung Kuk Hong Kong Taoist Association Yuen Yuen Primary School in Tuen Mun.
The three are among seven primary schools that have admitted the under-fire subject is part of their curriculum in the new academic year. The Education Bureau has not revealed the actual number of primary schools that have shown interest in teaching national education.
STFA Lee Kam says in a notice to parents that its course is unbiased and would touch on both positive and negative aspects of the country.
It says the learning kits are compiled by its own teachers, who have used suitable material from textbooks, newspapers and video clips to stimulate pupils' curiosity.
Meanwhile, Baptist Lui Ming Choi Primary School in Sha Tin, another of the seven, has yet to decide whether to launch the subject despite escalating pressure from alumni and parents.
The school had previously said it would consider suspending the curriculum, and would post any updates on the website of its sponsoring organisation as soon as possible.
In one set of Primary Two teaching materials, a test aims to find out if pupils are qualified to be "good sons and daughters of China". Teachers are also instructed to ask pupils to say loudly, "I am happy to be a Chinese", if they agree.
Traditions and culture
Historical figures such as Dr Sun Yat-sen and Tang Dynasty poet Li Bai
Natural landscape and resources
The national anthem, which is sung while standing up
The meaning and origin of the national flag National identity in which students are asked to say "I am happy to be a Chinese" if they agree
Relationship between Hong Kong and the mainland