Date
17 December 2017
Anglican Church's Rev. Peter Douglas Koon (L) and the Catholic Social Communications Office's Fung Yat Ming (R) have reacted differently to Beijing's views on HK student education. Photos: HKEJ, Bloomberg
Anglican Church's Rev. Peter Douglas Koon (L) and the Catholic Social Communications Office's Fung Yat Ming (R) have reacted differently to Beijing's views on HK student education. Photos: HKEJ, Bloomberg

Anglican Church agrees students must imbibe national spirit

Reverend Peter Douglas Koon, secretary general of the Anglican Church in Hong Kong, said his church, which runs several schools, is willing to work with the Education Bureau to inculcate national spirit in students and deter them from demonizing China.

Some of the actions and behavior of Hong Kong students had been worrisome recently, but they are not something that schools can control by themselves, Koon said. Social trends and other influences often influence the youngsters, he said, according to Ming Pao Daily News.

Family education can play a role in guiding the young minds, said Koon, who last year openly opposed the Occupy street protests.

Young people should not promote “Hong Kong independence” or raise the British national flag, he said.

Meanwhile, Hong Kong Catholic Social Communications Office said it will not respond to reported comments from Chen Zuoer, former deputy director of the State Council’s Hong Kong and Macau Affairs Office, that the Education Bureau must instruct schools to foster a sense of national identity among Hong Kong youth.

Fung Yat Ming, director of Diocesan Bureaux of the Catholic Social Communications Office, said the largest school operator in Hong Kong will adhere to its core values, such as pursuing truth and justice.

Chen said in a forum in Beijing this week that something must be done to “complement the young people’s brain” in Hong Kong after they were “brainwashed” into participating in protests and civil disobedience campaigns.

“Bad weed” must be cleared out so that “new shoots” can thrive, he is reported to have said, urging Hong Kong society to seriously think about this matter.

Asked if Chen’s comments would lead to pressure on the school operators, Fung said dealing with pressure is not something new for the institutions.

Scholarism convenor Joshua Wong warned that Chen’s comments may stir another wave of protests against the so-called national education.

There is no truth to the claim that Hong Kong students are not interested in knowing more about China, Wong said. It’s just that the youth are opposed to any forced education.

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