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Various circles of Hong Kong condemn disorder in campus, call for educational reform

(People's Daily Online)    17:38, October 14, 2019

Various circles of Hong Kong society recently slammed chaotic phenomena occurring on the campuses of China’s Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR), and stressed the need for educational reform and a need to carry out and enhance national education.

On Oct. 10, the president of the Chinese University of Hong Kong (CUHK) was forced by students during a dialogue session to issue a statement condemning alleged sexual assault by police officers on a CUHK student.

On Oct. 8, because of his remarks suggesting deterrence efforts of Hong Kong police to end violence, Chan Wai-keung, a lecturer of the Hong Kong Polytechnic University (PolyU), was besieged by masked students in the classroom that he had been lecturing for nearly five hours.

Such outrages sparked widespread criticism and anger across the city.

The reason behind the political force’s imposing pressure on the school and coercing university president into issuing statement condemning the police is that these radicals attempted to turn black into white and incite all the students in the university to join their violent movement, said Leung Chun-ying, vice chairman of the National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference.

The president should withstand the political pressure and stick to justice, as which is only what embodies the strength of character and responsibility of intellectuals, pointed out Leung.

Violently disrupting class is in no way the reasonable behavior of college students, said Hong Kong Federation of Education Workers (HKFEW), which condemned the act of violence committed by the students and ordered the students to express their appeals in a rational and peaceful manner.

This is disappointing, said HKFEW, stressing that such an act not only damaged the right to freedom of expression, but endangered the safety of the teacher.

Students should not force university executives or anyone to declare for or against things, not to mention attacking and insulting people with violent means, said president of MBA alumni association of CUHK, calling upon all the students to quit violence, think and discriminate wisely, and try to get in-depth knowledge about social issues.

When Hong Kong is caught in such a chaotic situation, some black sheep in the education field still hold the candle to the devil in disregard of the facts and make no effort to restore peace, said an editorial of Hong Kong newspaper Wen Wei Po, noting that as the place for imparting knowledge to students, schools must shoulder the responsibility for disorder in the society today.

Ta Kung Pao, one of the oldest Chinese-language newspapers based in Hong Kong, pointed out in a commentary that since those students who turned the campuses into grounds for violence engaged in illegal acts of violence, damaged their universities and insulted university president while they enjoyed great subsidies from taxpayers, are they still worthy of their identity as college students, and do they still deserve social recognition and protection?

The HKSAR government should make more efforts to promote national education, and set clear requirements that pertain to them, said principal of HKFEW Wong Cho Bau Secondary School, adding that schools should carry out strict management and provide relevant training for educators, while efforts should also be made to cultivate a sense of social responsibility and national identity amongst citizens. 

(For the latest China news, Please follow People's Daily on Twitter and Facebook)(Web editor: Hongyu, Liang Jun)

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