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Hong Kong Strengthens “Patriotic Education” with New Initiatives and Programs

Guangming Daily reported that China’s “Patriotic Education Law” came into effect on January 1, 2024. In April, the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (SAR) government established a Patriotic Education Working Group. Recently, Hong Kong has carried out a variety of patriotic education activities.

In May, the Hong Kong government announced that the “Hong Kong Museum of Coastal Defense” would be reestablished under a new name: the “Hong Kong Museum of Anti-Japanese War and Coastal Defense.” The aim of this change is “is to help visitors gain a deeper understanding of the history of the anti-Japanese War (WWII), appreciate the close ties between Hong Kong and China, and enhance visitors’ sense of national identity, belonging, and pride.”

The government pushed out new middle school curriculum guidelines on the subject of Chinese history: the “Hong Kong National Security Education Curriculum Framework.” The national security education curriculum frameworks pertains to 15 subjects. All elementary and middle schools are required to fly the national flag on every school day, on New Year’s Day, on the Hong Kong SAR Establishment Day, and on National Day. Schools are also required to hold a flag-raising ceremony once a week. Elementary and middle schools are instructed to organize national education activities on major holidays. The General Studies subject at the elementary schools is to include content on national identity and Chinese culture. Chinese history has become a compulsory subject in middle school. The high school’s Citizenship and Social Development subject is to closely align with China’s development.

The Guangming Daily reported that universities and middle and high schools in Hong Kong are actively engaging in various exchange and internship programs in mainland China “to help Hong Kong youth gain a better understanding of the motherland and enhance their sense of affinity towards the country.” The Hong Kong Joint Publishing Group, including Hong Kong Sanlian Bookstore, Hong Kong Zhonghua Book Company, and the Hong Kong Commercial Press, publishes approximately 2,000 new books in Chinese and English each year. Among these, hundreds of publications are on national education, many of which have won prestigious publishing awards both domestically and internationally. For example, they published a series of books of “How Much Do You Know About the National Flag, National Emblem, and National Anthem,” the series of “My Home in China,” and the picture book “Our Country, Our Security.”

Source: Guangming Daily, June 30, 2024