Public awareness of Basic Law continues to improve

A Government survey released today (December 30) reveals that public awareness of the Basic Law continues to increase steadily.
The Constitutional Affairs Bureau requested the Census and Statistics Department to commission a Thematic Household Survey on the understanding of the Basic Law in the fourth quarter of 2004.
"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 studying at primary four and above, teachers and civil servants. In total, the survey included about 10,300 households and about 15,000 respondents were interviewed," a Government spokesman said.
The survey revealed that 87.8% of the public claimed that they had good or some knowledge of the Basic Law, or had heard of it. Of those, the percentage of the public who felt they had good / some knowledge of the Basic Law increased from 25.2% in 2000 to 48.3% in 2002, and to 50.8% in 2004.
On the specific target groups, 62.7% of the students considered they had good / some knowledge of the Basic Law. Only 4.2% of the students claimed that they had never heard of the Basic Law. On the other hand, all teachers and civil servants claimed that they had heard of the Basic Law; 86.2% of the teachers and 79.9% of the civil servants considered that they had good / some knowledge of the Basic Law.
About 12% of the public surveyed claimed that they had never heard about the Basic Law. They were mainly the elderly, retired people, homemakers and those with lower education levels. Around half of the students who claimed they had never heard about the Basic Law were students below the age of 13.
On the other hand, 21.4% of the public considered that their knowledge of the Basic Law had improved in the past year. The respective figures for the students, teachers and civil servants target groups are 34.0%, 42.2% and 32.9%.
"We are encouraged to note that there has been an increase in public awareness of the Basic Law over the past two years. The results of the survey demonstrated the positive effect of the Basic Law promotion activities organised by the Government and community organisations," the spokesman said.
The survey also revealed that television was the most effective medium to promote the Basic Law  81.0% of the public obtained information about the Basic Law through the Announcements of Public Interest (APIs) broadcast on television, and 53.4% acquired information about the Basic Law through news and public affairs programmes on television.
For the three specific target groups, more than half (54.5%) of the students considered that school lessons or activities were very / quite effective in enhancing their understanding of the Basic Law. A total of 58.5% of the teachers who responded considered the Basic Law promotion activities organised by the Education and Manpower Bureau very / quite effective, while 52.4% of the civil servants thought that the Basic Law activities or courses organised by the Civil Service Training and Development Institute were very / quite effective in enhancing their understanding of the Basic Law.
"We will take into account the findings of the survey in planning the Basic Law publicity programmes in the future, with a view to enhancing the public's understanding of the Basic Law," the spokesman said.
Ends/Friday, December 30, 2005

