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Hong Kong"s secondary school principals will be held responsible for teachers" involvement in illegal protests, Hong Kong"s education chief said.
In an interview with a Shanghai-based mainland media company, Education Secretary Kevin Yeung Yun-hung said that funding for schools might also be cut back if misconduct is discovered in school management, even though, he said, the withdrawal of funding as a penalty was not a preferred option as the students would suffer from it.
The principals of Hong Kong schools need to understand that it is their responsibilities to steer students in the right direction, Yeung said.
If a principal fails to fulfill that duty, the Education Bureau will consider removing him or her from the post, Yeung said. To date, no principal has been penalized for mishandling political agitation on campus.
Yeung explained the problems that have emerged in Hong Kong"s education sector over the past six months. One of those problems is that some teachers have attempted to influence students with their personal political views in classes or incited students to participate in strikes and even illegal demonstrations, he said.
Through November, the bureau has received 123 complaints against teachers for their alleged involvement in the social unrest. Most of the complaints accused the teachers of spreading hate speech, committing crimes and using biased textbooks. Among the 74 cases investigated, the bureau found 13 that warranted follow-up action, which included the issuing of letters of reprimand to five teachers.
After receiving the complaints, the bureau urged the schools, as the employers, to investigate the teachers involved, Yeung said. The department will intervene only if the school is suspected of covering up for the teacher.
The bureau has the right and the duty to remove principals who fail to manage schools effectively, Yeung said. If the principal is seen as unfit to be an educator, the bureau can also ban the person from serving in the sector.
However, the government must be cautious in making such decisions, Yeung said. In less-extreme cases, the bureau would contact members of the school board to suggest assistance to the principal.
The bureau does not want to create panic among the teachers and expects to maintain peace and stability on campuses, Yeung said. Most teachers in Hong Kong are very professional, he added.
According to police, about 1,000 people younger than 18 have been arrested in the social unrest through Dec 20. Also arrested were about 80 teachers and teaching assistants. The involvement of students and teachers in the violent protests and vandalism has alarmed the city"s education authority.
The department has suspended a teacher for allegedly distributing "inappropriate textbooks" to the students. Two other teachers were transferred to the bureau office to keep them away from students after they were found making inappropriate comments online. They may face additional discipline when the investigations into their actions are complete.
In November, several Hong Kong universities were occupied and severely damaged by radical protesters who barricaded themselves on the campuses, which were also used for storage of dangerous weapons. The government would have to pay the enormous repair costs.
The government will make the decision based on whether the funding adjustments would affect the research programs and education in these universities.
The government pledges to continue its support to those universities that understand their responsibilities and act in response to society"s expectations, Yeung said.sequentially numbered silicone wristbandsrubber wrist bandsimages of rubber band braceletsbuild your own wristbandcustom silicone wristbands no minimum free shipping