Education and Youth Affairs Bureau (DSEJ) Director Lou Pak Sang on Thursday urged local teachers not to promote their own political views in classrooms, saying that teachers should always teach their pupils how to look at and analyse current affairs from multiple perspectives and through an “impartial, objective and rational” approach.
Lou made the remarks during a media briefing and a Q&A session about his bureau’s latest activities and measures for educational and youth affairs. The briefing held at the bureau, chaired by Lou, was also attended by several of the bureau’s most senior officials. During the Q&A period, several reporters asked what measures the bureau has possibly taken for local schools, pupils and their parents in response to the ongoing anti-government demonstrations and violent protests in Hong Kong.
Lou said that his bureau had held meetings with major education associations as well as schools last week about measures in preparation for the commencement of the new school year earlier this week, adding that the meetings also included discussions about the ongoing incidents in Hong Kong.
Lou said that his bureau had urged local teachers to always give top priority to their pupils’ safety, calling for local schools to ensure that their pupils will not carry out any illegal activities.
Lou said his bureau “hopes that teachers will not take [their] political views into classrooms and, in particular, will not impose their own political ideas and views on their pupils,” adding that the bureau “disagrees” with teachers promoting their own political views in classrooms.
Lou went on to say that “if pupils are confused or have questions about certain social issues, teachers can discuss the issues with them. The teachers should adopt an impartial, objective and rational approach and help the pupils think about the issues from multiple angles and in a multi-dimensional way, so as to cultivate their [pupils’] objective and rational analytic skills.”
Lou also told reporters that he has had nightmares about the images of violent acts, due to constant exposure to news about the ongoing Hong Kong incidents. “In fact, even I have had nightmares after having watched too many news reports [about the violent protests in Hong Kong], let alone young people.”
Macau’s non-tertiary education is overseen by the Education and Youth Affairs Bureau, while the city’s tertiary education is overseen by the Higher Education Bureau (DSES).
According to the Macau Post Daily, Lou also said that his bureau “definitely” opposes pupils going on strike, adding that his bureau, however, always respects pupils expressing their views in a peaceful and rational manner. Lou said that pupils are always the ones most harmed by school strikes.