OPINIONS Observer: Purifying HK's education environment imperative

OPINIONS

Observer: Purifying HK's education environment imperative

By Bo Lanping | People's Daily app

12:31, December 13, 2019

pd observer.jpg

The recent chaos in Hong Kong has revealed some deep-seated problems. One issue involving unethical behavior demonstrated by teachers has caused great concern.

Since the protests began, a few Hong Kong teachers have transitioned into politicians, blurring the boundary between crime and justice, and inciting student participation.

As a result, many students have trampled over society’s bottom line by becoming active rioters. Dressed in black and spreading terror, they transformed the Poly University campus into an arsenal and terrorist training camp. A once harmonious campus was denigrated to a lost paradise and made it a tragedy to behold. 

Data review highlights the problems of Hong Kong’s education system. Since June, almost 6,000 protesters have been arrested, and nearly 40 percent were students, and over 900 were minors. 

A lack of professional ethics among teachers was reflected in 30 confirmed cases, with another 70 noticeable incidents. According to the statistics among those arrested, it was revealed that not one Hong Kong university was excluded. 

There is something wrong with the city’s education system. Communities have been negatively influenced. If the rioting does not stop immediately, how many more students will be turned into criminals and regret their actions for the rest of their lives? 

Teenagers are naive and vulnerable to seditious ideas. However, some teachers have surprised society for blatantly promoting violence. As the saying goes, “Students mirror teacher behavior.”

After one Hong Kong teacher insulted the police on social media, saying their family members should go to hell, we can imagine how dirty the “mirror” is.

With such obvious facts, teachers should not be trusted with young students. Their behavior will not only mislead students but also bring irreparable loss to a school’s reputation.

They are damaging Hong Kong’s civilized society from the inside out, poisoning academic integrity, and making trouble for everyone involved. It is imperative that Hong Kong society reflects on teacher immorality.

The Hong Kong community should reach a consensus on the announcement by the Education Bureau that it would consider imposing penalties on teachers found guilty of violating the professional code of conduct since the riots started. Those who have committed a crime must pay a price. As teachers are responsible for education, their actions should not be condoned.

Those who have lost their professional ethics and social morality must be condemned. As educators, they play an important role in the evolution and progress of the social environment. If you walk in another person’s shoes, do you believe there’s anyone in Hong Kong who wants to send their child to such "poisonous teachers,” and is there one school that wants to recruit students in a "poisonous teachers’ camp"?

The Hong Kong community must be aware that if they frequently fall below the bottom line of morality, legality, and humanity, such teachers will be seen as the enemy of society and civilization, and the tumors and ulcers of Hong Kong must be removed in a decisive and timely manner.

For them, condemnation is far from enough. Only by means of withdrawing their teacher credentials and even implementing a lifelong ban can the problems in the city’s education system be solved.

Otherwise, it would be impossible to tell how many children would be sent to jail by those teachers, and how many schools would be badly influenced.

Opposition groups like the Hong Kong Professional Teachers' Union not only distort facts but also try to sacrifice students and the future of the city for their interests. It seems that the union is protecting teachers, but in fact, it is destroying Hong Kong’s education reputation, and slandering the teaching profession. Innocent students are also victims of this political conspiracy. Teachers justified violence and tried to influence their students. They clearly have no respect for the education profession.

Removing unethical teachers from a school’s campus is imperative and the best way to purify the city’s education environment. It will require courage from Hong Kong academia to restore education reputations by filtering out the "black sheep." Hong Kong society should pay attention to those students who were incited by provocative content and make the education system reform a priority on its agenda.

A lack of moral, civic, and patriotic education can create confusion for students. Tolerating violence embeds the risk of future riots in Hong Kong. Residents should join hands with local government and take action to amend this flawed education system.

(Compiled by Ryan Yaoran Yu and Elaine Yue Lin)

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