Textbooks tackle issues

Staff writer

Three publishers have included the Occupy Central campaign in their senior secondary liberal studies books

Staff writer |

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Education Secretary Eddie Ng is urging students not to take part in Occupy Central.

Three newly published liberal studies textbooks for senior secondary level will include the Occupy Central movement as a topic, even though Education Secretary Eddie Ng Hak-kim has urged students not to take part in the July protests.

The three textbooks - published respectively by the Hong Kong Education Publishing Company, Ling Kee Book Store and Aristo Education Press - all include Occupy Central in the Hong Kong Today module.

Education Publishing's New Horizon Liberal Studies: Hong Kong Today was reviewed by Benny Tai Yiu-ting, an Occupy Central organiser, and University of Hong Kong sociology professor Lui Tai-lok. The textbook raises the question whether Occupy Central is the only strategy to achieve universal suffrage.

The Ling Kee book asked students to decide for themselves whether they would take part in the campaign, while the Aristo book focuses on the controversial citizen nomination.

Some students agree that the issue should be discussed in the textbooks and in class.

Darren Tang, a 16-year-old student at Law Ting Pong Secondary School, says the discussion "can raise the social awareness of students with political apathy and those who rarely participate in sociopolitical affairs …

"Students should not be deprived of the opportunity to understand the political issues of Hong Kong. They should be encouraged to think independently and [see] multiple perspectives."

Stanley Lam Tsz-kin, a 17-year-old student at Po Leung Kuk Tang Yuk Tien College, says: "The objectives of Liberal Studies lie in enhancing students' ability to think critically and, ultimately, to be responsible citizens.

"Discussing or evaluating Occupy Central would be one crucial step to developing citizenship, given its immense impact on society.

"As long as students are well informed, it's up to them whether or not they participate in the campaign. What matter is that students deserve freedom of choice."