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HK backs govt move to distance from politicized teacher group

By Li Bingcun | chinadaily.com.cn | Updated: 2021-08-01 15:04

File photo shows the Golden Bauhinia Square in Hong Kong. [Photo/Xinhua]

Civic leaders threw their weight behind the Hong Kong government's decision to cut ties with a local union of teachers, which they said acts more like a political group, rather than a representative of professional teachers.

Earlier on Saturday, the Education Bureau announced it would cease all working relations with the Hong Kong Professional Teachers' Union, saying it no longer regards the group as a professional education body.

Lawmaker Regina Ip Lau Suk-yee, a member and former chairwoman of the Legislative Council's Panel on Education, said the union, in essence, is an anti-Beijing group that aims to destabilize Hong Kong. That nature has never changed, she added.

Under its influence, many members of the group spread wrong messages to students, misleading the young to stand opposite the nation and local government, Ip said.

She urged the Hong Kong government to launch an investigation into the group, and consider banning it if it is found to have endangered national security.

In past years, the group has been actively participating in activities held by two radical political organizations -- the Civil Human Rights Front and Hong Kong Alliance in Support of Patriotic Democratic Movements of China.

It also has lobbied teachers to launch numerous class boycotts during the 2019 social unrest, and promoted books that glorify violence, according to the Education Bureau.

Leung Chun-ying, vice-chairman of the National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference, believes that the group's previous conduct proved it is purely a political organization.

Compared with other groups that Leung believed to have played a role in destabilizing society, the teachers' union is more radical and caused greater harm to the city, Leung said.

He hopes the union's members can also cut ties with the group and denounce its political stance.

Wong Kwan-yu, president of the Hong Kong Federation of Education Workers, said the union is the largest education group of Hong Kong. Yet the union severely harmed the reputation of Hong Kong teachers and raised doubts on their professionalism. It also had a very negative impact on young people, he said.

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