Education Bureau

The Education Bureau (EDB) is responsible for formulating and implementing education policies in Hong Kong.

Education Bureau
教育局
Regional Emblem of Hong Kong.svg
Emblem of the Hong Kong SAR
Agency overview
Formed1852
Jurisdiction Hong Kong
Headquarters11/F, East Wing, Central Government Offices, 2 Tim Mei Avenue, Tamar, Hong Kong
Employees5355
Minister responsible
Deputy Minister responsible
  • Christine Choi, Under Secretary for Education
Agency executive
  • Michelle Li, Permanent Secretary for Education
Child agencies
  • University Grants Committee Secretariat
  • Working Family and Student Financial Assistance Agency
Websitewww.edb.gov.hk/
Education Bureau
Chinese教育局
Education and Manpower Bureau
Traditional Chinese教育統籌局
Simplified Chinese教育统筹局
Education Department
Chinese教育署

The bureau is headed by the Secretary for Education and oversees agencies including University Grants Committee and Student Finance Office.

HistoryEdit

 
Logo of Education Department

The Education Department (教育署 and 教育司署 before 1983) was responsible for education matters in the territory, with the exception of post-secondary and tertiary education. In 2003, the department was abolished and a new bureau, the Education and Manpower Bureau (教育統籌局 abbreviated EMB) was formed. In July 2007, under newly re-elected Chief Executive Donald Tsang, the manpower portfolio was split away to the new Labour and Welfare Bureau, leaving this body as the Education Bureau.[1]

The bureau was formerly housed at the Former French Mission Building.

StructureEdit

The bureau mainly consists of seven branches, which are responsible for different policies. Each branch is led by a Deputy Secretary for Education.

  • Further & Higher Education Branch
  • Planning, Infrastructure and School Places Allocation Branch
  • Professional Development & Special Education Branch
  • School Development & Administration Branch
  • Curriculum and Quality Assurance Branch
  • Corporate Services Branch
  • Special Duties

The bureau also oversees two child agencies: the University Grants Committee Secretariat and the Working Family and Student Financial Assistance Agency.

Education systemEdit

The Education System includes: Kindergarten Education, Primary and Secondary School Education, Special Education, Post-secondary Education, and other Education and Training.[2]

ControversiesEdit

Censorship of textbooksEdit

In August 2020, the Education Bureau, with the aim to 'help student develop positive values', made changes to the Liberal Studies textbooks of the six main publishers, who were invited to join the voluntary consultancy service introduced by the bureau in the previous year. The pro-democracy Professional Teachers' Union (PTU) said some teachers received messages from the publishers that the amendments relating to criticizing the mainland Chinese government and some political cartoons were replaced with emphasizing the possible criminal consequences for participants. The union accused that it is practising 'political censorship and 'had severely damaged the goals' of setting up the project.[3]

On 5 October 2020, the Education Bureau deregistered a primary school teacher, the teacher was accused of using pro-independence materials, which the Bureau claims is an act of “spreading Hong Kong Independence message”. The Professional Teachers Union strongly condemned the teacher’s disqualification. In a statement, the Hong Kong Professional Teachers’ Union accused the education bureau of failing to conduct a fair investigation. It said the unilateral disqualification and issuing of warning letters to the school were “despicable acts of intimidation of the school management” and were unacceptable.[4]

National Security EducationEdit

In February 2021, the Education Bureau, under Kevin Yeung, announced changes to the education system to incorporate the National Security Law.[5] Notices to teachers explained that teachers should educate students as young as 6 years old about the national security law.[5] In response, Ip Kin-yuen, the vice-president of the Professional Teachers' Union, said that he was astounded to see the "vast scope" of the new rules as well as the lack of consultation with teachers before the rules were published.[6]

Later in February 2021, the Education Bureau released a 1,200-word guideline for implementation of the changes, claiming it was "obliged to clarify" so-called misunderstandings by the media when it had announced changes earlier in the month.[7] Ip Kin-yuen responded and said that the guidelines would do little, and that the Education Bureau "should also hold proper consultation sessions among educators and members of the public to explain about the guidelines in detail, listen to their thoughts and opinions, as well as respond to questions and even defend it for themselves if they want."[7]

In March 2021, the government announced that the Education Bureau would begin distributing books to all primary and secondary schools in Hong Kong, meant to cover topics such as national identity and the national security law.[8]

Study tourEdit

In March 2021, the Education Bureau revealed that new teachers in Hong Kong would have to travel to mainland China to undergo mandatory training.[9]

Liberal studiesEdit

In April 2021, a survey by PORI found that more than 60% of Hong Kongers opposed changes to the Liberal Studies course, changes implemented by the Education Bureau after the course came under attack from pro-Beijing figures who claimed the course was used to encourage students to take part in the 2019-20 Hong Kong protests.[10]

National flag ceremoniesEdit

In October 2021, the Education Bureau revealed new guidelines for implementing national flag ceremonies in schools, stating that it would "promote national education and help students develop a sense of belonging to the country, an affection for the Chinese people and enhance their sense of national identity."[11]

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ Code for the Education Profession of Hong Kong, EDB, 2015
  2. ^ "EDB - Home". www.edb.gov.hk. Archived from the original on 31 January 2017. Retrieved 26 January 2017.
  3. ^ Chan, Ho-him (20 August 2020). "Hong Kong education chiefs hit back at teachers' union over criticism liberal studies textbook changes amount to political censorship". South China Morning Post. Archived from the original on 21 August 2020. Retrieved 22 August 2020.
  4. ^ "Hong Kong primary teacher deregistered 'for talking about independence'". The Guardian. 6 October 2020. Archived from the original on 6 October 2020. Retrieved 6 October 2020.
  5. ^ a b "'Schools to be responsible for ignoring NSL breach' - RTHK". news.rthk.hk. Archived from the original on 5 February 2021. Retrieved 6 February 2021.
  6. ^ "'Consult public on national security education now' - RTHK". news.rthk.hk. Archived from the original on 5 February 2021. Retrieved 6 February 2021.
  7. ^ a b "Calling security education 'brainwashing' a 'malicious' accusation, say officials". South China Morning Post. 22 February 2021. Archived from the original on 23 February 2021. Retrieved 24 February 2021.
  8. ^ "China's textbook series in national education to reach Hong Kong schools | Apple Daily". Apple Daily 蘋果日報 (in Chinese). Retrieved 22 March 2021.[permanent dead link]
  9. ^ "Hong Kong to send new teachers to China for national security education | Apple Daily". Apple Daily 蘋果日報 (in Chinese). Archived from the original on 18 March 2021. Retrieved 22 March 2021.
  10. ^ "Survey shows Hongkongers oppose changes to Liberal Studies subject as gov't endorses new name". Hong Kong Free Press HKFP. 2 April 2021. Archived from the original on 2 April 2021. Retrieved 2 April 2021.
  11. ^ "Hong Kong schools must hold national flag ceremonies at least once a week". South China Morning Post. 11 October 2021. Retrieved 11 October 2021.

External linksEdit