CHINA / POLITICS
HKEDB cuts ties with Teachers' Union, 'ending its poisonous monopoly' in HK education
Published: Aug 01, 2021 09:31 PM
Students and teachers from Hong Kong visit a DJI flagship shop in Shenzhen, South China's Guangdong Province during a tour to witness the achievements of China's reform and opening-up in June 2018. Photo: Xinhua

Students and teachers from Hong Kong visit a DJI flagship shop in Shenzhen, South China's Guangdong Province during a tour to witness the achievements of China's reform and opening-up in June 2018. Photo: Xinhua



The Hong Kong Education Bureau (EDB) has formally cut ties with the city's Professional Teachers' Union (PTU), which has long been poisoning Hong Kong's education industry, according to analysts.

The EDB announced on Saturday that it will terminate its working relationship with the PTU and no longer regard it as an education professional organization, to which the PTU expressed disappointment and regret. 

Explaining the decision, the EDB said the PTU has been actively and closely participating in secessionist political groups in the past years under the guise of being a professional education organization. 

"It has also urged teachers to launch class boycotts, triggering the infiltration of politics into schools," wrote the EDB in the statement. "In the social turmoil, some students or even teachers were swayed to take part in violence and unlawful activities."

Earlier on Friday, two of China's major media outlets, the Xinhua News Agency and the People's Daily published commentary articles criticizing the operation of the PTU for deviating from its original purpose to become an out-and-out political organization. 

"For Hong Kong education to return to the right track, the PTU must be investigated, and the tumor must be eradicated," said Xinhua. 

On Thursday, the PTU announced its withdrawal from the Alliance in Support of Patriotic Democratic Movements in China, one of the major anti-government organizations in the city, quoting a "deteriorating political environment in Hong Kong." 

In another statement responding to the accusations by the Chinese mainland media outlets, the PTU said it has been concerned about the development of the nation and opposed "Hong Kong independence" since its founding.

None of the PTU's recent actions and statements can clear up its deeds that once poisoned Hong Kong's education sector, but are just another of its word games, Lawrence Tang Fei, principal of the Heung To Secondary School (Tseung Kwan O) in Hong Kong, told the Global Times on Sunday. 

Established in 1973 on the basis of pro-secessionism, the PTU, which currently represents some 95,000 members from Hong Kong education, is the city's oldest workers' union. Despite claiming itself as a professional education organization, its remarks and deeds in recent years are invariably inconsistent with what is expected of the education profession, rendering it no different from a political body in essence, experts noted. 

The decision came as Hong Kong's education sector is experiencing ongoing reform and schools are enhancing national security education. In June, Secretary for Education Kevin Yeung Yun-hung said changes to Hong Kong's education system are urgently needed to enhance a sense of national identity among local students.

Contrary to the impression of some Western media, it is the severance of ties between the EDB and the PTU that will in fact end the PTU's "monopoly role" in Hong Kong's education sector, Tang said.

"Hiding under the guise of education, the PTU has been organizing and mobilizing political activities against the central government," Tang noted. "It has previously achieved almost a dominant position in the education sector, obstructing reforms and seriously poisoning Hong Kong education."

Tang believes that in due course, the government should intervene to further investigate the PTU's illegal acts and complete the liquidation.


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