Executive councilor Fanny Law is facing a political backlash after she said last week that Hong Kong teachers should attend a month-long course on patriotism.
The latest to weigh in on the controversy is legislator Ip Kin-yuen who said the former education champion has become a villain, Apple Daily reported Tuesday.
Ip, who represents the education constituency, accused Law of exerting pressure on academic institutions amid reports the government is trying to revive a national education curriculum through the back door.
He said the education sector is discussing an appropriate response.
Last week, Law said new teachers should undergo a month-long course on China as part of the qualification process.
Fellow Exco member Bernard Chan roundly rejected the idea, saying schools should be allowed to make their own choices.
Ho Hon-kuen, a pro-mainland nationalist and vice chairman of concern group Education Convergence, called it “empty talk” and unfeasible.
And Fung Wai-wah, president of the Hong Kong Professional Teachers’ Union said Law’s plan is an attempt at brainwashing.
Ip said Law enjoyed wide public support when she became head of the Education Bureau in 1998 after a stint as commissioner of transport.
“She was seen as diligent and humble,” Ip said.
But she began to lose favor with the public when she tried to implement controversial reforms in 2006, he said.
Ip said Law had him fired from the Hong Kong Institute of Education after he criticized the proposed reforms in an article.
A subsequent court case found Law had infringed academic freedom, the report said.
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