Hong Kong’s Education Bureau has unveiled a new mandatory humanities subject for primary school pupils that emphasizes “patriotic education.”
Learning patriotism: The new comprehensive humanities curriculum for primary schools encompasses Chinese culture, history and geography, with topics ranging from national security legislation to the achievements of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), reported South China Morning Post. Students are also expected to learn about the constitutional relationship between Beijing and Hong Kong, the Belt and Road Initiative and the Greater Bay Area, among other topics, as per The Standard.
Patriotic education law: Slated to replace general studies from September 2025, the six-year program follows a recent patriotic education law passed by the National People’s Congress Standing Committee. The legislation set the goals, content and guiding principles of the program.
About the subject: The humanities subject covers areas including “Our Country and I,” “Community and Citizenship,” “Health and Living,” “Environmental Protection,” “Economic and Financial Planning” and “Our World and I.” Education authorities recommend around 37 hours annually for primary one and two students and a minimum of 56 hours for older classes.
Teachers express concerns: Members of the Subsidised Primary Schools Council reportedly expressed concerns about the curriculum’s complexity, with some fearing that the extensive content might hinder students’ absorption of knowledge. The new humanities and science subjects are expected to account for at least 14% of teaching hours, which could impact schools’ flexibility, teachers’ workload and students’ exploration and experiences.
“I do think most teachers would hesitate when dealing with a new subject because that means more preparation time is needed for each class, [leading to] a heavier workload,” said a teacher surnamed Leung, according to SCMP
. “Some schools are now assigning English teachers to teach science because they will teach this subject in English. Extra training for teachers is a must.”