Hong Kong, June 24 (ANI): Over the years China has been trying to brainwash the minds of students in Hong Kong in an attempt to rip off the city's special status and bring it completely under its control. The school system has become another battleground as it imposes its policies, according to an article in Hong Kong Free Press.
Kent Ewing writes in the article that during the last year's protests, of 8,981 people who were arrested 40 per cent were students, many of them still in secondary school. According to police, there were eight primary students among those arrested.
He says that from the start, young people have been the engine of this movement as the future once promised to them is being snatched away "by a callous bunch of powerful old men in Beijing and their Hong Kong marionettes, from Chief Executive Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor on down".
China has brought national security law, its latest attempt to silence the pro-democracy protesters.
Kevin Yeung, Hong Kong education chief, was quoted as saying by the Hong Kong Free Press that students should not participate in class boycotts, or take part in activities such as chanting slogans, forming human chains.
"[The security law] will not affect the legitimate rights and freedoms enjoyed by the vast majority of Honk Kong residents under the law, including freedom of speech...[Students] should not participate in class boycotts, or take part in activities such as chanting slogans, forming human chains, and posting slogans or singing songs which contain political message at schools for expressing political stance."
While Yeung has asked schools to discipline students and teachers against participating in protests against the national security law, the students continue to drive the movement forward.
The city's Education Bureau has asked schools to bring long-term counselling and disciplinary regimens for students arrested for being part of the last year's protests and to even "call the police" if students are found violating the recently passed national anthem law, Hong Kong Free Press reported.
However, China's war against the students is nothing new.
In 2012, Joshua Wong Chi-fung, then an unknown teenager, had started a successful campaign against the Education Bureau's proposed moral and national education curriculum. It was seen as an attempt to brainwash the students into becoming followers of the Chinese Communist Party, Ewing said.
The Wong-led student activist group Scholarism took the streets to protest against the curriculum and finally achieved success as the proposal was shelved.
The Chinese government has continued to use the Hong Kong education system according to its policies. By using its puppet government in Hong Kong, Beijing bullies the city's youth who disobey its policies. (ANI)