About 110 teachers or staffs from educational institutions and nearly 3,600 students have been arrested over social incidents in Hong Kong from June 2019 to May 2020, Hong Kong’s education chief said.
Answering questions raised by a member of HKSAR’s Legislative Council in a written reply on Wednesday, Kevin Yeung, secretary for education of China’s Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) government said that among the people arrested during the period in relation to the social incidents, about 10 of them were staff members of post-secondary institutions and about 100 of them were staff or teachers of primary and secondary schools.
“Among the students arrested in the same period, about 2,000 were from post-secondary institutions and the remaining about 1,600 were aged under 18 who were believed to be mostly secondary students and very few of them primary students,” Yeung said.
The official also stated that the Hong Kong’s education bureau has attached great importance to the professional ethics and conduct of teachers.
“For teachers who are involved in illegal acts, they have to bear the legal responsibility and the bureau will follow up on the matter seriously in accordance with the Education Ordinance,” he added.
He said that under the established mechanism, if a registered teacher is charged upon arrest, the bureau will review whether a teacher has misconducted himself/herself and his/her teacher registration status by referring to the court documents and other obtainable information, regardless of whether the teacher concerned is convicted or not.
“If an arrested teacher is not charged but the bureau receives complaints or information about the professional conduct of the teacher concerned, the bureau will also take action according to the established mechanism”, he added.
“We are currently following-up on the concluded case according to the procedures mentioned above. No cancellation of registration of the teachers concerned has been recorded so far,” Yeung said.
Yeung said that some people and groups with ulterior motives deliberately mislead students into participating in political activities using radical means, attempting to achieve their political objectives at the expense of students’ interests and prospects.
“The social incidents have posed unprecedented impact on and challenges to the education sector,” Yeung said, adding that as a place for nurturing students and developing their moral values, schools should assist students to rectify their misdemeanor and should work with parents to help students reflect on the impact of their behaviour on themselves and others so that students can re-establish positive values.