What Hong Kong teens need to know about Carrie Lam’s 2020 policy address

  • Much of the content relevant to young people related to education
  • Lam said students need a better understanding of the Basic Law and constitution, and HKDSE Liberal Studies will get a makeover
Kelly Fung |
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Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam speaks during a press conference at the government headquarters in Hong Kong on November 25, 2020, after delivering her annual policy address earlier at the Legislative Council. (Photo by Anthony WALLACE / AFP)

Hong Kong’s Chief Executive Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor finally gave her policy address on November 25, which had been delayed since October 14.

Here are the most important things Hong Kong youth need to know about Wednesday’s policy address:

1 More moral and national security education for primary and secondary schools

Lam said “the law-abiding awareness of some young people is weak” and they lack “mutual understanding and mutual respect”.

If you could add one compulsory subject to the curriculum, what would it be?

She said students need a better understanding of the Constitution and the Basic Law and a “deeper understanding of the history, culture and development of our country”.

2 Mainland study tours tailor made to the new Chinese History curriculum

Lam said the new Chinese History curriculum had started in Secondary One this year. She said more tours and activities linked to the subject would deepen students’ understanding of the “One Country, Two Systems” and the importance of national security.

Students will be taught to “respect and preserve the dignity of the national flag and the national anthem as symbols of China.

Photo: Bloomberg

Lam said the changes aim to “foster positive values among students as well as develop in them a sense of identity, belonging and responsibility towards the nation, the Chinese race and our society.”

3 Liberal Studies will get a makeover

Lam said Liberal Studies will be reformed to correct its deviation from its original objectives. She said in future the subject would focus on students learning in an interdisciplinary way and being able to “analyse contemporary issues in a rational manner and learn about the development of our nation, the Constitution, the Basic Law, the rule of law and so forth.”

4 Teachers will get better education on ethics

Lam hopes that Hong Kong teachers will become pillars of China, safeguarding “One Country, Two Systems”, and so teachers will be closely monitored. She said she would talk to teacher education institutions about teachers’ ethics, character and conduct.

Why has Liberal Studies been seen as so controversial?

“The EDB will take stringent actions against teachers who are incompetent or found misconducted [sic], including cancelling the registration of those who are found seriously misconducted [sic], for the well-being of students,” Lam added.

5 E-learning solutions

HK$2 billion is going to be set aside for the education authority to build a platform to share learning and teaching resources, and encourage teachers to share quality material. All students will have equal access to e-learning, with schools getting money to buy computers to lend to students who need them, along with Wi-Fi routers and mobile data cards.

6 There are jobs – just not here

Lam said the government will roll out “Greater Bay Area Youth Employment Scheme” to provide jobs 2,000 jobs for Hongkongers, in mainland cities.

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Hong Kong companies will get to send local graduates to branches in the GBA region, and Hong Kong will pay for most of their wages for 18 months.

7 More support for students with special education needs

The government will increase the number of places for preschool children with mild disabilities from 8,000 to 10,000 in the 2022/23 school year, with an aim to achieve zero-waiting time for students.

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