Date
24 January 2017
Teachers said their students showed a deeper understanding of social and political issues after the 79-day campaign. Photo: hkppa.net
Teachers said their students showed a deeper understanding of social and political issues after the 79-day campaign. Photo: hkppa.net

Teachers say students learned about society from protests: poll

Nearly 90 percent of the secondary schools in Hong Kong received requests from students to join the Umbrella Movement last year, Ming Pao Daily reported, citing a new survey.

Although 24 percent of the school principals advised their students not to participate in the pro-democracy protests, over 60 percent of teachers said their students showed a deeper understanding of social and political issues after the 79-day campaign, the survey showed.

Titled “Stories untold – What happened in schools during the Occupy Movement 2014?”, the study was done by research institute Policy 21 in June and July this year and jointly released by the Education Policy Unit of the University of Hong Kong and the Hong Kong Association of the Heads of Secondary Schools.

A total of 131 principals and 1,411 teachers of Form 5 and 6 students from 168 secondary schools were interviewed for the survey.

Most of the schools adopted an open-minded attitude towards the student strike, as most of the students who joined the protests continued to study their school lessons during the period.

Around half of the teachers didn’t think participating in the protests affected the students’ academic progress.

Lee Suet Ying, chair of the Hong Kong Association of the Heads of Secondary Schools, said students learned from the social movement and many schools held forums to discuss the issues involved in the protests.

In other words, students continued to learn despite the class boycott.

The study also noted that relationships between teachers and students became closer as a result of the Occupy Movement.

Many teachers regularly sent text messages to their students to make sure they were safe, the report said.

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