HKU students make low-key protest at inauguration
Incoming students at the University of Hong Kong found a low-key way to continue the national education protest on Wednesday, wearing black ribbons during the inauguration ceremony.
Incoming students at the University of Hong Kong found a low-key way to continue the national education protest on Wednesday, wearing black ribbons during the inauguration ceremony for the new term.
The students’ union provided 6,000 ribbons for first-year students attending the ceremony at Loke Yew Hall.
Nearly every student seemed to accept one, and some wore them on their wrists while listening to speeches by university officials.
Students’ union president Dan Chan Koon-hong said he was satisfied by the students’ acceptance of the campaign, coming after Tuesday’s successful city-wide boycott by university students to protest against the national education course.
“Now we should take our action to the next stage, not confining it to a class boycott,” Chan said.
The union has no plan for another class boycott when classes resume on Monday, he said. Any further action would have to be discussed with student representatives from other institutions.
Vice-chancellor Professor Tsui Lap-chee called the university a diverse, multicultural community where students should be able to listen to and respect others’ opinions.
“Students can use whatever means to express their concern, including staging a class boycott,” he said. “If students need any help, we will surely stand by them.”
Many critics of the national education course have faulted it for an excessively pro-Beijing bias, calling it brainwashing.
On Saturday Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying responded to massive protests by giving schools the discretion to choose whether or not to teach the subject.
But students have continued their protests, arguing that as long as the national education teaching guideline exists at the Education Bureau, it might still be put into practice.