New teachers in Hong Kong have to go on a study tour in mainland China as part of a compulsory core training, the Education Bureau revealed.
Starting from this school year, new local teachers as well as those receiving a promotion in rank are obliged to go through a mandatory core training of 30 hours, covering the city’s mini-constitution Basic Law, the Constitution of China and national security education. It aims to strengthen educators’ understanding of the “one country, two systems” framework and national development.
A study tour to China will also be included as part of the training, said Secretary for Education Kevin Yeung, in a written reply to a question from pro-Beijing lawmaker Horace Cheung.
The tour allows teachers “to understand the educational development in mainland and the country’s achievements through their personal experience. It helps them to enlighten students on Hong Kong’s role and contribution to the country’s development,” he added.
In response to Apple Daily’s inquiry, the Education Bureau said the core training includes two major parts, namely the professional identity and professional learning of teachers. The latter focuses on local, national and international educational development. The training takes the form of lectures, academic conferences, sharing sessions and mainland study tours.
Yeung hopes the tours can be conducted as soon as the pandemic is under control, while other forms of training have already begun since November last year.
Former lawmaker and the vice president of the Professional Teachers’ Union, Ip Kin-yuen, noted that new teachers already have to spend a lot of effort to adapt to the new job and study tours further add to their heavy workload. He suggested retaining teachers in Hong Kong for other forms of training as well as making it more comprehensive, so it covers both negative and positive development in China.
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