The Basic Law is the constitutional document of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) and is closely related to our daily lives. The promotion of Constitution and Basic Law education and the fostering of law-abiding awareness among youngsters are important components of Moral, Civic and National education at schools, as well as an indispensable part of school education.
The Preamble of the Basic Law clearly states that “the People’s Republic of China has decided that upon China’s resumption of the exercise of sovereignty over Hong Kong, a Hong Kong Special Administrative Region will be established in accordance with the provisions of Article 31 of the Constitution of the People’s Republic of China”. Article 1 of the Basic Law also makes it clear that “the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region is an inalienable part of the People’s Republic of China”. The Constitution and the Basic Law form the constitutional basis of the HKSAR, lay the foundation of “One Country, Two Systems”, and provide a strong guarantee for Hong Kong’s long-term prosperity and stability.
The Education Bureau (EDB) is fully responsible for facilitating students’ comprehensive and accurate understanding of the Constitution and the Basic Law, fostering their positive values and attitudes, and nurturing them into a new generation who are talented and virtuous, socially responsible and equipped with a sense of national identity, love for Hong Kong, and international perspectives. The promotion of Constitution and Basic Law education has all along been a regular, on-going task of the EDB and schools. Apart from incorporating the relevant learning content into related subject curricula (including General Studies at the primary level, and Life and Society, Chinese History, History, Geography and Liberal Studies at the secondary level) and Moral, Civic and National education, schools can enrich teachers’ and students’ knowledge and understanding of the importance of the Basic Law to the development of Hong Kong, as well as their in-depth understanding of the conditions of our country, through organising appropriate life-wide learning activities (e.g. participation in local Basic Law promotion activities, Mainland Exchange Programmes and Hong Kong-Mainland Sister School Exchanges). This year, the EDB organised the 6th Territory-wide Inter-school Basic Law Competition. In commemoration of the 30th Anniversary of the Promulgation of the Basic Law, more questions about the history of the enactment and key concepts of the Basic Law, as well as elements of its relevance to daily lives, were added to facilitate students’ understanding of the Basic Law. Although school classes did not resume before the application deadline for the Competition owing to the pandemic, we are pleased that more than 220 primary and secondary schools took part in the Competition, the highest number so far. It indicates that schools have attached great importance to and supported the Constitution and the Basic Law education.
The EDB has always provided systematic teaching resources for schools. In tandem with the 30th anniversary of the promulgation of the Basic Law, we have developed the Teaching Resources on the Constitution of the People’s Republic of China [Junior Secondary Curriculum of the PSHE Key Learning Area] and wall-chart resources (including thematic wall-charts, presentation slides and user guidelines) on the themes of “Event Book on Hong Kong’s Return to China”, “Human Rights and the Rule of Law” and “The Constitution and the Basic Law” with the aim to facilitate teachers’ correct explanation of related concepts to students. The EDB will continue to provide teaching exemplars for related subjects, update current teaching resources in a timely manner, and develop new resources, including video teaching resources and online games, to enhance students’ learning interest.
The confidence of school principals and teachers and their good grasp of the relevant topics are essential to the more effective implementation of Constitution and Basic Law education at schools. The EDB will enrich teacher professional development programmes, including the provision of online seminars and online self-learning courses. Starting from the coming school year, the EDB will roll out in phases the Advanced Basic Law Knowledge Enrichment Online Course for secondary school teachers and the Constitution and the Basic Law Knowledge Enrichment Online Course for primary school teachers. We will also provide diversified interflow opportunities for principals and teachers (e.g. interactive teacher networks, learning circles) so that they can know more about curriculum planning and effective learning and teaching strategies for promoting Constitution and Basic Law education at schools, and disseminate good practices in this regard.
On the other hand, the EDB will provide more quality learning activities for students, such as Basic Law online courses for students’ self-learning, Mainland Exchange Programmes and inter-school competitions, with a view to creating a conducive atmosphere for the learning of the Constitution and the Basic Law.
Ongoing renewal is integral to the development of school curriculum. The EDB has all along kept abreast of the times in the promotion of Constitution and Basic Law education. Since the National Anthem Ordinance took effect upon gazettal, the EDB has enhanced related curriculum resources and support measures. In order to meet the development needs of society, such as the enactment of the Law of the People’s Republic of China on Safeguarding National Security in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, we will continue to adopt diversified measures in various areas, such as curriculum, teacher training and teaching resources, to strengthen our support for schools.
The learning of the Constitution and the Basic Law helps students develop their respect for the rule of law and law-abiding awareness, recognise clearly their own national identity, distinguish right from wrong, and correctly understand and uphold “One Country, Two Systems” so that they will contribute to society and become pillars of the future. We look forward to the concerted effort of the education sector and different stakeholders in society to support the promotion of Constitution and Basic Law education.
19 June 2020