Teachers at HK’s kindergartens, semi-private schools next in line for Basic Law test, education chief says

16-Oct-2021 Intellasia | South China Morning Post | 5:02 AM Print This Post

A new plan requiring more Hong Kong teachers to pass a test on the city’s mini-constitution to qualify for jobs will eventually be extended to kindergartens and semi-private schools as well, Hong Kong’s education minister revealed on Friday.

Secretary for Education Kevin Yeung Yun-hung told a radio programme the government hoped as many as 2,000 freshly graduated primary and secondary schoolteachers would pass the new Basic Law test ahead of the start of the academic year next September.

“In the first step, we aim to [carry out] the test across government-aided schools, because there’s about 1,000 to 2,000 new recruit teachers there every year,” Yeung said, referring to institutions largely funded and run by charity organisations.

“Then, we will continue to expand [the scope] to direct subsidy scheme (DSS) schools and kindergartens, and in the long run, teachers in other areas as well.”

DSS schools are semi-private schools that charge tuition while also receiving government subsidies.

Hong Kong’s public school teachers, who are considered civil servants, were already required to pass the examination.

The expansion of that mandate to teachers working at institutions only partially subsidised by the government was first unveiled last Wednesday during Chief Executive Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor’s annual policy address.

“Teachers have a role in guiding students and we expect them to have a certain degree of understanding of the Basic Law,” Yeung said on Friday.

He added that educators should also possess knowledge about the historical context of the mini constitution’s formation and the importance of the city’s “one country, two systems” governing principle, which he said would better equip teachers to foster a national identity in their students.

The multiple-choice quiz would be on a pass-fail basis, he added.

When asked whether the exam might be expanded to cover topics such as the national security law something that will apply to civil service job applicants from the middle of next year Yeung said it had not been ruled out.

“We are considering doing that as well and have been in communication with the Civil Service Bureau to have the assessments aligned,” Yeung said.

“We will take note of how they carry out their tests around June next year.”



Category: Hong Kong

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