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Renaming of Liberal Studies to Citizenship & Social Development discussion: Lau Chi-pang of CDC-HKEA


Renaming of Liberal Studies to Citizenship & Social Development discussion: Lau Chi-pang of CDC-HKEA

Liberal Studies was introduced in Hong Kong in 2009 as one of four senior secondary core subjects. The first liberal studies examinations were held in 2012. When introducing the subject, the government said its goals were to equip future generations “with a broad base of knowledge, high adaptability, independent thinking skills and an ability to engage in life-long learning” to face future challenges. But Liberal Studies came under scrutiny and criticism during the social unrest in 2019. In September of that year, the government said, “in view of the escalating social incidents”, it was introducing a one-off professional consultancy service to the publishers of Liberal Studies textbooks to ensure the quality of their content. In May last year, Chief Executive Carrie Lam warned that students should not be “poisoned” with “false and biased” information, and subjects such as Liberal Studies could be “infiltrated”. She urged the Education Bureau to act as gatekeepers and handle this matter. So, in the coming school year, Liberal Studies has a new name and a new focus. To talk about the revamp of Liberal Studies and the new curriculum with us are Lau Chi-pang of the Curriculum Development Council of the Hong Kong Examinations and Assessment Authorities, and Tin Fong-chak of the Hong Kong Professional Teachers Union and currently a Liberal Studies teacher.

For the second year in a row, the police have banned the June 4th candlelight vigil in Victoria Park citing Covid-19 restrictions. Following the introduction of the National Security Law the Security Bureau has warned that people who take part in unauthorised assemblies, advertise, or publicise them may face terms of imprisonment ranging from one to five years. The police have said they are putting 3,000 anti-riot officers on standby and will conduct checks in areas where commemorations might be held – at least a thousand may be deployed around Victoria Park - and will act swiftly against any unauthorised June 4 gatherings. Something to bear in mind.

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