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|Public awareness of Basic Law improved over past two years
A recent Government survey reveals that there has been a significant increase in public awareness of the Basic Law.
The survey was commissioned by the Constitutional Affairs Bureau (CAB), with assistance and technical advice from the Census and Statistics Department, and was conducted in the fourth quarter of 2002.
"The survey was conducted to gauge the level of understanding of the Basic Law among the general public and to find out how the public had obtained information on the Basic Law. The survey also covered three specific target groups, namely students, teachers and civil servants. In total, the survey enumerated about 12,100 households and covered about 18,000 individual respondents," a Government spokesman said today (June 21).
According to the survey, the percentage of the general public who claimed that they had never heard of the Basic Law had fallen from 20.6% in 2000 to 10.1%, i.e. the percentage of those who had heard of the Basic Law had increased from around 80% to 90%; and those who perceived that they had some or a good knowledge of the Basic Law had nearly doubled from 25.2% to 48.3%.
On the other hand, the percentage of students who claimed that they had never heard of the Basic Law had dropped significantly from 19.8% in 2000 to 2%; and those who considered they had some or a good knowledge of the Basic Law had increased from 32.7% to 57.6%. The survey also shows that all teachers and civil servants had heard of the Basic Law or had some or a good knowledge of the Basic Law.
"We are encouraged to note that there has been an increase in public awareness of the Basic Law over the past two years," the spokesman said.
The spokesman pointed out that the survey confirmed that television was the most effective medium for the promotion of the Basic Law.
The survey showed that most respondents of the different specific target groups obtained information about the Basic Law mainly through television, including the Announcements of Public Interest (APIs) broadcast on television (94.8% of the general public) and other television programmes (51.9% of the general public). Other channels included activities organized by the then Education Department (for 37.5% of the teachers) and the Civil Service Training and Development Institute (for 26.3% of the civil servants). Some students (35.9%) obtained knowledge of the Basic Law from school lessons or school activities.
The spokesman pointed out that 89.4% of respondents aged 15 and above remembered the series of 10 TV APIs produced by the CAB to promote public awareness of the Basic Law over the past two years. 93.4% of them claimed to have a good knowledge of the messages conveyed by the TV APIs.
Over half of the teachers (64.0%) and civil servants (57.4%) considered it necessary to have a better understanding of the Basic Law, while 38.2% of the general public and 37.9% of the students considered it necessary to do so. The major reasons given included "the Basic Law is closely related to them" and "get to know their own rights".
Among the general public who said that they had never heard of the Basic Law, 85.1% belonged to one or more of the following groups: people aged 60 or above, home-makers, retired persons, and those with an education level at primary school education and below. It was observed that people who had lived in Hong Kong for a shorter period of time were more likely not to have heard about the Basic Law. Students in lower classes were also more likely not to have heard of the Basic Law.
"We will take into account the findings of the survey in planning the Basic Law publicity programme to be carried out in the coming year," the spokesman said.
End/Saturday, June 21, 2003