Liberal studies textbook scrubs out voting, civil disobedience

Tuesday, August 18, 2020

Content related to civil disobedience and universal suffrage will be deleted from Hong Kong’s liberal studies textbooks for secondary students, as publishers announced a list of amendments to their publications.

In the password-protected document uploaded to their websites for teachers, publishers deleted content regarding the legislation of Basic Law Article 23, as well as content related to civil disobedience.

Publishers also took out the wordings “separation of powers”, as one of the publishers turned it into a discussion for students to debate whether Hong Kong is administrative-led or is it practicing separation of powers.

Hong Kong Educational Publishing Company meanwhile, replaced the words “separation of powers” with “the three who checks and balances each other to prevent excessive concentration of power” in its textbook.

Changes are more significant in a later part related to social and political participation, as Aristo Educational Press altered the wordings from “pro-democracy camp” to “non pro-establishment camp”.

Demosisto, a political group advocating self-determination, and pro-independence party Hong Kong Indigenous also saw their name removed from Aristo’s Liberal Studies textbook. The textbook also removed mentions of their “radical protests”.

Textbooks also downplayed elements of the social movements, as photos of protest banners, showing the slogan “I want universal suffrage” as well as Lennon Walls, were removed from the textbook.

Government-critical comics as well as those depicting demonstrators were also replaced by other comics that are less politically-sensitive.