A question on Monday's DSE Chinese exam paper has sparked an online discussion and accusations of brainwashing by the government.
One of the three essay topics was the cause for concern. "Something happened today, I wanted to express myself and talk it out at the time, but decided to remain silent in the end. I think silence [in this situation] is necessary," it read.
Students were not forced to choose this topic. But it has been strongly criticised on the internet, with people saying it was a form of brainwashing to get students to obey authority and remain silent.
"It's just a different form of brainwash[ing] education ... politics is hideous," netizen Flora Lee wrote on Facebook.
Yet some teachers disagreed with this view. Leung She-kwan, Chinese language co-ordinator at HKICC Lee Shau Kee School of Creativity, said the question hinted at the idea of maintaining stability. "It could remind people of political events," Leung said.
But students would not necessarily see it that way, Leung said. "Students don't think of the question [in a political way]. They have their own interpretations; most are based on their everyday life."
Winnie Lee Wing-yee, 18, who studies at Community College of City University, said: "I don't see the political aspect in that topic, or think there's a problem if the political view is not too extreme."
A spokesperson for the Hong Kong Examinations and Assessment Authority said: "The question simply encourages students to write an essay from their own experiences and say what they think about 'keeping silent'."