Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Hong Kong Protest "Propaganda" Education Plan


This is a huge mass demonstration by Hong Kong parents and children protest against the Chinese Communism propaganda (patriotism) education lessons as a bid to brainwash children aged six years and older recently.

Is the Chinese Communist Party trying to brainwash and nurture the new generations of Hong Kongers and the Mainland Chinese to be more patriotic since there are too many mass demonstration against the Chinese Government recently? If this new education lessons to be implemented in Hong Kong, the new generations will not enjoy the privilege to think and express freely but, to be pro Chinese Communist supporters.

Here is a short news clip by AFP where thousands of stroller-pushing Hong Kong parents and activists protest a plan to introduce national education lessons:

(Source: AFP @ youtube on July 29, 2012)


And, this is a short news clip by Apple Daily News, Hong Kong in Cantonese version:


(Source: Apple Daily News, Hong Kong @ youtube)


Hong Kong protesters oppose "propaganda" education plan

Children chant slogans as they carry a banner featuring portraits of government officials, including Hong Kong's Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying (3rd L), during a protest march against a Chinese patriotic education course in Hong Kong July 29, 2012. Thousands of people including parents, teachers and children took to the streets on Sunday against the course, which is set to begin in the territory in September, saying it is aimed at brainwashing students. The Chinese characters on the banner read: ''Mum said, those who force kids to lie are bad guys''. REUTERS/Bobby Yip

By Sisi Tang Hong Kong | Sun Jul 29, 2012 11:46am EDT  Source: Reuters
 
Hong Kong (Reuters) - Tens of thousands of Hong Kong parents, students and teachers marched in the streets on Sunday in protest against a school curriculum plan they said was an attempt to brainwash students by extolling the achievements of the Chinese Communist party.


The controversy is the latest backlash against perceived political influence from Beijing in the former British colony that returned to Chinese rule in 1997.



The furor focuses on a Hong Kong government-funded 34-page book titled "The China Model" celebrating China's single party Communist state as a unique political system under which its economy and society have flourished.



The book will form the basis of a national education curriculum for students aged six years and older in Hong Kong schools in the coming year, aimed at engendering what officials call a sense of national pride and belonging towards China.



"We don't want our child to be fed this material," said P.S. Ho, who joined the protest along with his wife and four-year-old daughter. "If the initiative continues without changes, maybe we will change schools later or immigrate to another country."


Parents with children in strollers, secondary school students and activists joined the rally on a sweltering afternoon, carrying placards with slogans such as "We don't need no thought control".

Organizers said 90,000 people took part, though police estimates put the turnout at 32,000.

It was the latest in a series of mass protests and gatherings in Hong Kong in recent months, including a July 1 demonstration that drew some 400,000 people demanding improved governance, full democracy, and less interference from Beijing.

"Parents are concerned. We don't want them to brainwash our children's minds," said Linda Wong, a member of a parent concern group and a mother of one.

While the booklet touches on some negative aspects of contemporary Chinese history including unfair land grabs by corrupt officials and a toxic milk powder scandal, it makes no mention of the June 4, 1989 crackdown on pro-democracy protesters in Beijing's Tiananmen Square.

It also describes the U.S. political system as having "created social turbulence" and harmed people's livelihoods.

"This material is given to elementary school students. They don't have the independent thinking capabilities to judge for themselves," said Joseph Wong, 19, a member of a youth activist group.

Hong Kong officials rejected the suggestion they were planning to introduce Chinese-style propaganda, saying the "China Model" booklet was only a guide.
They responded to the protesters' concerns by saying a "broadly representative" committee would be formed to monitor the scheme after its implementation in the coming few years, before deciding whether it becomes a mandatory course or not.

"We definitely would not want to see any so-called brainwashing type of education from happening. If that indeed happens, which we do not believe will happen...we would be the first one to come out to condemn such a situation," said Lee Chack-fan, chairman of a group tasked with drafting the guidelines for the national education scheme.

(Additional reporting by Clarie Lee; Editing by James Pomfret, Sanjeev Miglani and Peter Graff)

(Source: http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/07/29/us-hongkong-china-protest-idUSBRE86S07820120729)



Hong Kong protests China 'patriotism' classes
Parents and activists protest against plan to introduce Chinese national education lessons, labelling it propaganda.
Last Modified: 30 Jul 2012 05:53  Source: AlJazeera English



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Thousands of Hong Kong parents and activists have protested against a plan to introduce national education lessons, labelling it as a bid to brainwash children with Chinese propaganda.

Organisers said Sunday's protest, which attracted stroller-pushing parents, involved 90,000 demonstrators, but police estimates gave a lower figure of 32,000.

"As a parent, I'm very angry, this is a blatant brainwashing," mother-of-three Sandra Wong said as she marched in the sweltering heat accompanied by her husband and pushing her two-year-old daughter in a stroller.

"The curriculum only paints a rosy picture about the Communist Party... This is just an attempt to introduce the mainland agenda in Hong Kong schools."

The government has said national education lessons, to be introduced in September and made compulsory in 2015, are important to foster a sense of national pride and belonging.

The protest underscored rising anti-Beijing sentiments, coming weeks after the city's biggest demonstration in nearly a decade, as new leader Leung Chun-ying, also called chief executive, was sworn in before Hu Jintao, the Chinese president.

Hong Kong, which gained independence from the United Kingdom in July 1997 after more than 150 years of British rule, remains a semi-autonomous part of mainland China.

It has its own political and legal system that guarantees civil liberties not seen in China, including freedom of speech and association, but its chief executive is elected through a "small-circle" election that excludes many would-be voters.

Citizenship rejected
A poll released by the University of Hong Kong last month showed the number of people in Hong Kong identifying themselves as citizens of China had plunged to a 13-year-low. More identified themselves as Hong Kongers.

Rejecting the brainwashing claims, the government has vowed to push ahead with the plan, although it announced the formation of a special committee to monitor the implementation of the subject following the mass protest.

The committee will ensure the subject is taught in a way "to educate our students to have independent thinking, to be able to analyse situations and come to an objective judgment", Carrie Lam, the chief secretary, told reporters.

Under the proposal, students would take 50 hours of lessons a year focusing on "building national harmony, identity and unity among individuals". There would be no exams.

"There is nothing wrong with national education but it shouldn't be done in a biased way," Shirley Cheung, a high school student, said at the protest.

"Currently the curriculum makes no mention about issues like the Tiananmen Square crackdown or who is (Chinese dissident) Ai Weiwei, so we are not convinced it can encourage independent thinking," the 17-year-old added.

The protest came after a teaching booklet called "The China Model", which heavily praised China's one-party system, was sent to local schools in recent weeks, further fuelling debates over the lessons.

The plan to introduce national education has been on the government's agenda for years but the renewed push came weeks after the new government led by Leung, seen as pro-Beijing, took office.

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Source:
   Agencies


(Source: http://www.aljazeera.com/news/asia-pacific/2012/07/201272916371456512.html)




Hong Kong parents protest China patriotism lessons

Thousands of stroller-pushing Hong Kong parents and activists Sunday protested a plan to introduce national education lessons, slamming it as a bid to brainwash children with Chinese propaganda.

The government has said the subject is important to foster a sense of national pride and belonging, although its bid to start introducing the subject in September and make it compulsory in 2015 has sparked a public outcry.

Organisers said 90,000 demonstrators took part in the noisy protest, which was led by parents and young students. Police put the figure much lower at 32,000.

"As a parent, I'm very angry, this is a blatant brainwashing," mother-of-three Sandra Wong said as she marched in the sweltering heat accompanied by her husband and pushing her two-year-old daughter in a stroller.

"The curriculum only paints a rosy picture about the Communist Party... This is just an attempt to introduce the mainland agenda in Hong Kong schools," she said.

Sunday's protest underscored rising anti-Beijing sentiments, coming weeks after the city's biggest demonstration in nearly a decade, as new leader Leung Chun-ying was sworn in before Chinese President Hu Jintao.

A poll released by the University of Hong Kong last month showed the number of people in the former British colony identifying themselves as citizens of China had plunged to a 13-year-low. More identified themselves as Hong Kongers.

The government has rejected the brainwashing claims and vowed to push ahead with the plan, although it announced the formation of a special committee to monitor the implementation of the subject following the mass protest.

The committee will ensure the subject is taught in a way "to educate our students to have independent thinking, to be able to analyse situations and come to an objective judgement", Chief Secretary Carrie Lam told reporters.

Under the proposal, students would take 50 hours of lessons a year focusing on "building national harmony, identity and unity among individuals". There would be no exams.

"There is nothing wrong with national education but it shouldn't be done in a biased way," high school student Shirley Cheung said at the protest.

"Currently the curriculum makes no mention about issues like the Tiananmen Square crackdown or who is (Chinese dissident) Ai Weiwei, so we are not convinced it can encourage independent thinking," the 17-year-old added.

The protest came after a teaching booklet called "The China Model", which heavily praised China's one-party system, was sent to local schools in recent weeks, further fuelling debates over the lessons.

The plan to introduce national education has been on the government's agenda for years but the fresh push came weeks after the new government led by Leung, seen as pro-Beijing, took office.

Hong Kong returned to China in 1997 as a semi-autonomous territory with its own political and legal system that guarantees civil liberties not seen on the mainland, including freedom of speech and association.

Anti-Beijing protests are a regular fixture in the regional financial centre of seven million people.

(Source: http://news.yahoo.com/hong-kong-parents-protest-china-patriotism-lessons-141827492.html)


Hong Kong Will Post China Educational Materials After Protests

By Eleni Himaras on July 30, 2012  Source: Bloomberg News
Hong Kong Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying said the government will post Chinese national education teaching materials for public viewing, a day after thousands marched across the city to denounce the curriculum.

Tens of thousands of parents, students and social activists on July 29 protested government plans to introduce the curriculum in government-run primary schools in the city starting in September. The authorities intend to extend the classes, which aim to foster Chinese identity, to secondary schools from 2013 and phase in the lessons over three years.

The textbooks in the program will give a pro-Communist Party account of China’s history and political system, according to Willy Wo-Lap Lam, an adjunct professor of history at the Chinese University of Hong Kong.

Hong Kong won’t force the introduction of the lessons in September, Leung said in a government statement yesterday. Introducing moral and national education is not a political task for the new government, said Leung, who was inaugurated as the city’s chief executive less than a month ago.

Posting the educational materials “can allay the fears of parents and the education sector that the subject will brainwash students,” according to the statement.

Government talks with opponents to delay the new curriculum collapsed this past weekend, the South China Morning Post reported in its July 29 edition.

One textbook explains how the Communist Party is a progressive, united and effective ruler, comparing it with the U.S. where a two-party system leads to eternal debates and gridlock, said Lam of the Chinese University of Hong Kong. There is no mention of the Cultural Revolution or the 1989 massacre in Tiananmen Square, according to Lam.

“The level of crudity is even worse than that of the textbooks you find in China,” Lam said by phone on July 29 before the rally.

(Source: http://www.businessweek.com/news/2012-07-30/hong-kong-will-post-china-educational-materials-after-protests)

1 comment:

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