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LCQ10: Promoting the Basic Law among students and young people

​     Following is a question by the Hon Starry Lee and a written reply by the Secretary for Constitutional and Mainland Affairs, Mr Patrick Nip, in the Legislative Council today (April 11):

     The Basic Law Promotion Steering Committee (BLPSC), established in 1998 and led by the Chief Secretary for Administration, provides steer on the overall programme and strategy for promoting the Basic Law, and provides an organisational focus for coordinating the efforts of government departments and the various sectors in the community to promote the Basic Law.  One of the important tasks of BLPSC is to promote the Basic Law among students and young people so as to enable them to gain a comprehensive and correct understanding of the Basic Law.  In this connection, will the Government inform this Council:

(1)    whether it has assessed the effectiveness of the efforts of BLPSC in each of the past three years to promote the Basic Law among students and young people; if so, of the methodology and indicators adopted for conducting the assessment; whether it will review such methodology and indicators; if so, of the details; if not, the reasons for that; and

(2)    given that in recent years, some young people have acted radically, with some of them even advocating independence and self-determination for Hong Kong and blatantly disregarding the Basic Law and the principle of "one country, two systems" set out therein, whether the Government will step up its efforts to promote among students and young people (i) the relationship between our Country's Constitution and the Basic Law as well as (ii) the relationship between "one country" and "two systems"; if so, of the details; if not, the reasons for that?


     After consulting the Chief Secretary for Administration's Office, the Education Bureau (EDB) and the Home Affairs Bureau (HAB), our consolidated reply to the Hon Starry Lee's question is as follows:

     The Constitution of the People's Republic of China (the Constitution) and the Basic Law form the constitutional basis of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR).  The HKSAR Government has the responsibility to encourage the general public to have a comprehensive understanding of the Constitution and the Basic Law.  We have placed equal emphasis on the concepts of "one country" and "two systems" in our Basic Law publicity and promotional activities, including the relationship between the Constitution and the Basic Law.

     The Basic Law Promotion Steering Committee (BLPSC) led by the Chief Secretary for Administration provides the necessary steer on the overall programme and strategy for promoting the Basic Law and coordinates the promotional and educational efforts of various parties concerned both in the Government and in the community.  There are five working groups under the BLPSC, including the Working Group (WG) on Teachers and Students and WG on Local Community, with EDB and HAB as the respective secretariats to assist in planning and organising various types of activities to promote the Constitution and the Basic Law to students and young people.  

     For students, EDB understands the importance of promoting Basic Law education.  Therefore, through the curriculum, learning and teaching resources and organising different activities using a systematic, "multi-pronged" and co-ordinated approach, EDB elucidates to students the constitutional status of the Basic Law in Hong Kong and deepens their understanding of the origin of the Basic Law, the principle of "one country, two systems" and the rule of law with a view to cultivating in them a sense of national identity.  Regarding the curriculum, learning contents relating to the Basic Law are inherent in relevant Key Learning Areas (KLAs)/subjects, including General Studies at the primary level; and Chinese History, History, Life and Society and Liberal Studies at the secondary level.  EDB also develops various learning and teaching resources, such as the "Constitution and the Basic Law" module, and Basic Law online courses for secondary school teachers and for students' self-directed learning.  EDB also organises life-wide learning activities and provides Mainland exchange opportunities.  On an on-going basis, EDB collects feedback from schools and teachers through different channels to enhance the quality of work on Basic Law education.

     The school sector generally understands that it is their responsibility to promote Basic Law education.  The participation rates of various learning activities and teacher training on Basic Law education are also continuously improving.  The implementation of Basic Law education needs the collaboration of people from different sectors of society.  In addition to the efforts of EDB and schools, support from parents and a positive social atmosphere are also needed to achieve better effects in promoting Basic Law education.  EDB will continue to maintain close communication with schools and other stakeholders so as to further improve the support measures on Basic Law education and facilitate students' learning of the Basic Law.

     In terms of learning and teaching resources, to further strengthen  Constitution and Basic Law education, EDB has developed a 15-hour independent "Constitution and the Basic Law" module.  It has been uploaded to EDB's website for schools' adoption since June 2017.  Schools can deploy it as a standalone module or as a supplement to the curriculum of other KLAs/subjects.  EDB will continue to enhance the quality of Mainland exchange programmes for students and life-wide learning activities through strengthening the learning elements of the Basic Law and "one country, two systems" in the newly added "Belt and Road" and "Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Bay Area" exchange programmes.  Through first-hand experience in understanding the country's development from multiple perspectives, students can reflect upon their roles and responsibilities and those of Hong Kong in the development of our nation.

     For young people, the WG on Local Community under the BLPSC works closely with HAB and the Committee on the Promotion of Civic Education (CPCE) to promote the Basic Law at the community level.  Activities with young people as target participants include Basic Law Quiz Competitions, Basic Law seminars, publications for young people, thematic exhibitions on and interactive games about the Basic Law in the Civic Education Resource Centre, etc.  

     In addition, HAB and CPCE grant sponsorship every year through the Community Participation Scheme and the Co-operation Scheme with District Councils to support civic education activities to be held in the community, including Basic Law promotional activities targeting at young people.

     The Government will continue to promote a comprehensive and thorough public understanding of "one country, two systems" and the Basic Law and a correct understanding of the relationship between the Constitution and the Basic Law through various means.  BLPSC and its working groups will review the format, content and effectiveness of promotional activities from time to time through evaluating their popularity based on the number and feedbacks of participants, with a view to optimising our promotion strategy.

Ends/Wednesday, April 11, 2018
Issued at HKT 15:00