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Global Times

Law education base for HK, Macao youths set up

Global Times

By Wang Qi Source: Global Times Published: 2020/7/16 20:18:40

China is gearing up to carry out national security education for Hong Kong and Macao youths, as China's first juvenile education base for the Constitution and Basic Law of the Hong Kong and Macao Special Administrative Regions (SARs) was set up in Shenzhen, South China's Guangdong Province on Wednesday.

Jointly established by Shenzhen University's Center for the Basic Law of Hong Kong and Macao SARs and the Shenzhen Overseas Friendship Association (SOFA), the base aims to help Hong Kong and Macao young people enhance their constitutional and national awareness through education, the Xinhua News Agency reported.

All the courses will be taught by teachers from the center, and they will develop a unique curriculum that is in line with the characteristics of young people in Hong Kong and Macao, Zou Pingxue, director of the center, told the Global Times on Thursday.

The center will also supplement teaching content by holding visits to giant enterprises like Tencent, DJI and Huawei in Shenzhen, Zou disclosed.

"The exact curriculum has not been announced… However, our courses involve the Constitution, the Basic Law, the national security law for the HKSAR, as well as instruction in cultural and national conditions, "an employee with the center told the Global Times on condition of anonymity.

The employee said that as it is the first base in this field, it is still in the exploratory stage. But if the project works well, more educational bases could be set up.

A person close to the project from SOFA, surnamed Deng, told the Global Times on Thursday that the exact starting date was uncertain due to the recent COVID-19 resurgence in Hong Kong. However, quite a few schools and youth organizations in Hong Kong have expressed a desire to participate.

The courses will mostly be held on holidays and weekends, when students from Hong Kong and Macao visit Shenzhen, Deng said, noting that this is not a long-term, classroom-based course, but one that will consist of one or two classes during their visits.

Du Ling, one of the main Party leaders of Shenzhen, said on Wednesday that she hopes the base will become a first-class research and educational facility with great influence and a good reputation among young people in Hong Kong and Macao.

SOFA has been in constant contact with schools and youth organizations in Hong Kong and Macao, and it frequently organizes exchange activities for young people in these cities. Founded in 1987, SOFA is a non-profit organization composed of volunteers from all walks of life in Shenzhen and compatriots from Hong Kong, Macao, Taiwan and overseas Chinese groups.

Fifteen minutes from Hong Kong by high-speed train, Shenzhen is a window to learning more about the Chinese mainland for many Hong Kong youths, who visit the city to see the great development and achievements made by the motherland. The new curriculum combines theory with practice to better help students understand "one country, two systems" and the importance of national security, said Deng.

On Wednesday, Hong Kong Secretary for Education Kevin Yeung Yun-hung told media that about 100 staff members from primary schools and kindergartens had been arrested since social unrest started in June last year. According to chinanews.com, students accounted for more than 40 percent of those arrested amid the riots in Hong Kong, with the youngest being only 12 years old.

Observers said the social unrest shone a light on the way that separatists have long used political issues to disrupt Hong Kong's education system, causing chaos on and off campus and harming students.

Earlier this month, the Hong Kong education bureau vowed to remove textbooks and materials in schools that incited subversion and separatism, after Yeung noted that the national security law for the HKSAR would be introduced to local students through courses.



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