In a recently issued code of conduct, Po Leung Kuk, which oversees around 40 primary and secondary schools in the city, stated staff were “absolutely not allowed to distribute messages containing a political stance on the school’s communication platforms” or on their personal platforms.
The code said teachers “should not” distribute such information to students, so as not to “affect their independent thinking and judgement”, and that they “should as much as possible avoid” releasing such information to “work-related stakeholders” to prevent unnecessary misunderstanding of the sponsoring body and its schools.
Hong Kong students at Diocesan Boys’ School and La Salle College set up localist Facebook groups to join the independence debate
17 year-old Sebastian Wong who goes to Po Leung Kuk Vicwood K.T. Chong Sixth Form College believes teachers should be allowed to express their personal stance in class as long as it’s not in a way that suggests it is propaganda. He also suggests that schools should not restrict or punish teachers for posting on their own platforms: “it’s their platforms,” he says.
Saba Iftkhar, 15, of St. Margaret’s Girls’ College, Hong Kong says teachers deserve to “openly share their beliefs just as much as any other person would, [whether] it’s on a political subject or not”.
Charlotte Fong, a 14-year-old student of International Christian School believes teachers should guide students into discussing politics in class. “Personal political beliefs shouldn’t be a taboo, and teachers should be encouraged to talk about their beliefs so that students can benefit from listening to different opinions,” she says. Saba agrees and thinks it’s also a form of teaching.