Students given anthem schooling

Local | Mandy Zheng 2 Jul 2020

Students and teachers sang the national anthem to celebrate the 23rd anniversary of the SAR's establishment yesterday, the first time since the anthem law came into effect.

Scientia Secondary School in Ho Man Tin played the anthem at 8am during a flag-raising ceremony at its assembly hall to mark the July 1 anniversary.

Dozens of pupils, parents and teachers stood up to sing the anthem, including an elderly woman in a wheelchair, who also stood up.

Social distancing measures were in place as staff kept an empty chair between every two participants.

"I believe that with the national security law and anthem law introduced, one country, two systems will remain stable and successful," principal Wong Ching-yung said in his speech.

Passed last month, the anthem law criminalizes abuse of the song and stipulates how, when and where it should be sung.

The education bureau is requiring schools to play and sing the anthem on the handover day, New Year's Day and National Day in an attempt to strengthen students' national identity.

Education secretary Kevin Yeung Yun-hung participated in a flag-raising event yesterday at Hong Kong Federation of Education Workers Wong Cho Bau Secondary School.

Photos posted by Yeung on social media showed students at the scene in uniforms and masks while holding small versions of the national flag as well as of the SAR's flag.

"It is an important part of moral, civic and national education to teach pupils to understand, respect and love their country's flag and anthem," he said.

Authorities have also provided teaching materials on the anthem's history and spirit, as well as etiquette for singing and playing it, Yeung said.

Elsewhere in Tai Wai, some 200 people joined in a ceremony at Pui Kiu College at 9am, during which a student representative reminded those present of the need for appropriate behavior while the national flagwas being raised.

"This is the first July 1 after the legislation on national security and anthem, so it has a special meaning," a parent, Lam, said.

Lam, who took part in the event with his wife and two children, said he wishes to see kids learn more about loving their country.

Meanwhile, Hong Kong Celebrations Association hosted an event in front of the Observation Wheel in Central, starting at 9.20am.

Participants, including politicians and celebrities, sang the national anthem and watched a lion dance show, before getting on a float parade bus which drove to the Wah Fu Estate next to Waterfall Bay, Pok Fu Lam.

At the same time, over 100 fishing boats sailed from Aberdeen to ferry piers in Central, with banners celebrating the national security legislation hung on the side of the boats.

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