Drama twist on primary kids learning rule of law

Top News | Staff reporter 30 Nov 2020

Primary school students will act in dramas to learn about the rule of law, says Secretary for Justice Teresa Cheng Yeuk-wah, as she reveals a decade-long plan to drum up the topic at school.

In an exclusive interview with Sing Tao Daily, The Standard's sister paper, Cheng said the project, dubbed "Vision 2030 for Rule of Law," is "quite ambitious but necessary" to clarify misunderstandings regarding the city's judicial system.

The Department of Justice has earmarked HK$450 million for the project, which was launched in February.

Dramas about the rule of law and law-abiding awareness will be staged in primary schools, with two scheduled to be premiered in January and February next year, according to Cheng.

Cheng said the goal would be to avoid preaching, let children understand the concept of law-abiding awareness and encourage them to think about why it is important.

Officials will also organize two-hour seminars in secondary schools, during which teachers and legal professionals will guide students through the basics of the rule of law, as well as case studies. These case studies are "quite an interesting approach," Cheng said. "We hope to engage 20 secondary schools and have 5,000 to 6,000 students participate."

She added that all tutors will have to receive training under officials' supervision before they are qualified to teach.

The training started two months ago, with seminars expected to take place next year.

Cheng said the department is also planning to arrange talks at schools to explain the rule of law, the Basic Law and China's constitution.

Outside of schools, the department has produced and published on its website a series of cartoon videos about the rule of law, targeting the "young and old alike," she added.

Barrister Grenville Cross, also the city's former director of public prosecutions, said he believed that the project would be fruitful, as "the department has great talent, dedicated professionals, people with vision in its ranks and also the necessary financial support."

"This project should go a long way toward showing the public that the rule of law is thriving, that internal processes are being modernized, and that the city's legal arrangements are as vibrant as ever," Cross added.

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