Hong Kong program to instill ‘correct’ view on rule of law in schoolchildren

Published (HKT): 2020.11.30 20:44

Hong Kong unveiled details of a new program to teach schoolchildren about the rule of law and address “incorrect concepts” such as civil disobedience that took root among the city’s young people during last year’s protests, according to Hong Kong’s justice minister.

Secretary for Justice Teresa Cheng said the pilot program will target primary and secondary schools, and is part of the “Vision 2030 for Rule of Law” initiative that was allocated HK$450 million (US$58 million) by the government in its February budget.

Hong Kong’s rule of law has been tarnished by the 2019 protest movement, which popularized “many incorrect concepts such as civil disobedience,” Cheng told Singtao Daily in an interview.

The program, which Cheng described as “ambitious but necessary,” was also a response to criticism from the international community of Hong Kong’s rule of law and policing, she said.

For primary school students, the government has produced a cartoon and two plays that aim to instill “rule of law values” and obedience to the law.

The government hopes to invite 20 secondary schools to join the pilot program, which is due to begin next year. Tutors will explain rule of law concepts and lead discussions using case studies. The program is being organized by the Basic Law Foundation and the Hong Kong Policy Research Institute, which began training tutors in September.

The Department of Justice will also incorporate new content on the rule of law into its “meet the community” events, which were previously focused on discouraging students from bullying or taking drugs.

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