Union-backed blacklisted teacher to appeal after lesson-plan row

Top News | Sophie Hui 12 Oct 2020

A teacher who has been de-registered over what was held to be a lesson plan based on independence for Hong Kong will appeal to the Education Bureau today, the Hong Kong Professional Teachers' Union said.

The union also criticized government officials yesterday for what it claimed was them misleading people by announcing information selectively about the former teacher of Alliance Primary School in Kowloon Tong.

Education sector legislator Ip Kin-yuen, also the union's vice president, said: "For example, they stressed the teacher used 85 minutes to talk about the Hong Kong National Party and the ideology of Hong Kong independence. But that is not the case. It never happened."

He said officials would reach a very different conclusion if officials looked into what happened in the class and how the students perceived the lesson rather than only looking at a teacher's lesson plan.

"In actual delivery," Ip added, "all teachers show they are professional in the sense they allow students to develop different ideas, to have free discussions.

He said students should be able to reach conclusions on whether independence is feasible instead of having a conclusion slapped on them.

The disciplined teacher budgeted 85 minutes on the topic of independence advocacy, the union noted. That included a 20-minute video in which Chief Executive Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor and executive councillor Ronny Tong Ka-wah rejected the idea of independence.

Ip said the union was confident about grounds for the appeal, but it was difficult to rate the chance of success as it would be the first time the board has faced such a case.

The union's comments came as Secretary for Education Kevin Yeung Yun-hung said there is no law to prevent teachers applying to be re-registered. But the bureau will make the interests of students the priority.

And he did not rule out the possibility of informing the Security Bureau if complaints that officials were investigating appeared to breach the national security law.

Yeung said on television that teachers must teach students that independence is not feasible.

Chief Secretary for Administration Matthew Cheung Kin-chung was also in the picture, writing on his blog that schools cannot be turned into breeding grounds for independence advocacy and illegal notions.

Society, he said, should "join hands to get education back on the right track."

sophie.hui@singtaonewscorp.com

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