Press Conference of tertiary teachers and administrative staff supporting university students’ boycott of classes

Representatives of the tertiary teachers and administrative staff campaign are hosting a press conference on Sept 21 (Sunday) to:
  1. Announce the result of a signature campaign targeted at tertiary-level academics and administrative staff (over 320 names obtained); and
  2. Announce that 108 tertiary academics plus 8 civil society professionals / leaders have agreed to deliver talks for students next week to support students’ boycott of classes in their fight for genuine universal suffrage.
Date: Sep. 21, 2014 (Sunday)
Time: 2:30 pm
Venue: Lecture Theater no. 12, City University of Hong Kong, Kowloon Tong, Kowloon, Hong Kong. 
Organizer: Local academics (about 25 will be present)
Guest speaker: Cardinal Joseph Zen Ze-kiun
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Class Boycott Declaration from Secondary School Students

Original in Chinese

We are a group of secondary school students who have been told to be the masters of the future. So we study and learn to be the future of Hong Kong. However, Hong Kong’s future is now manipulated by a small group of people who have taken away our choice of Chief Executive.

Class boycott is not taking a break.
Class boycott is not stop learning.
Class boycott is not for fun.
Class boycott is not a crime.
It is for our future.

We know the consequences and are ready to take any punishments by school. However, we must step forward when some adults choose to remain silent. If we choose to escape today, we won’t have any choice tomorrow. When the minions of tyranny just expect us to go to class, the best resistance is probably boycotting it.

Let’s meet the challenge of the era and complete our historical mission. We must establish ourselves in an era that belongs to us. Let’s shape our hopes and show our vision of the future.

Our future is in our own hands. We will take it back.

“Don’t let the striking students stand alone” – An appeal from and views of a group of teachers and staff at tertiary education institutes

Chinese

The August 31st decision by the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress on Hong Kong’s Chief Executive election stated that the threshold for nomination would be the support of “more than half of Nominating Committee members”, that the number of candidates be limited to two or three, and that the composition of the Nominating Committee be based on the four sectors of the Election Committee. As teachers and as citizens, we are pained and outraged to see the advancement of democracy in Hong Kong stifled and suppressed. Even though it is unlikely that democratic universal suffrage can be realized in the short term, we absolutely must not give up. During these dark days, we must resolutely guard our stations and stand together to shoulder the responsibility of our time.

A new round of protests in the form of class boycotts is currently being discussed and planned in the education sector. When we look back at history, both in China and overseas, we see that student movements have been an important force in pushing for social progress. Our hope in Hong Kong’s future lies in the passion and spirit shown by our young people and their willingness to take up the mantle in the fight for democracy and social justice.

Yet, while the students are pure of heart, they have recently become subject to unreasonable smears and attacks. We appeal to all sectors of society, and particularly to our colleagues in the education field, to cherish the innocent hearts of the students – do not let them stand alone to face the white terror, give them our staunchest support and protection. During the class boycott action, every student should have freedom from fear.

Here follows some specific suggestions for consideration by colleagues:

  1. As citizens of society, tertiary students have the freedom ofassociation and expression; they have the right to express their opinions onpolitical issues and teachers should respect this. Student movements provide great opportunities for civic education. We suggest that teachers discuss issues with students in an interactive way and in an atmosphere of mutual respect; encourage students to care about society and to make independent and rational judgments.
  2. As class boycotts may affect day-to-day teaching, we call on teachers to be understanding of students’ difficulties. While upholding educational principles, we hope teachers can be lenient in dealing with student absences arising from class boycotts. We also suggest that teachers should, as much as possible, avoid setting any important tests or assignments during the period of the class boycott.
  3. We urge teachers to do as much as they can to allow striking students to catch up with their studies. For example, they could provide make-up classes, offer guidance and classroom audio/visual recordings to help students complete their academic requirements smoothly.
  4. Colleagues in the education sector and other sectors of society can show their support to the striking students during the period of the class boycott by wearing yellow ribbons.

Link

Students’ Strike Declaration: The University of Hong Kong Students’ Union

Original

HKU Student Union, Students’ Strike Declaration

1. We insist on Civil Nomination
2. We urge the Legislative Council to veto over a proposal that does not comply with the International Standard
3. We demand a directly elected on all seats of Legislative Council by 2016

Continue reading

Aug 30, 2014

Developing: Students’ Strike

  • Responses to students’ strikes from 11 universities and colleges in Hong Kong: Summary
  • SCMP report: HKU Vice Chancellor: We support freedom of speech and we support staff and students to express opinions whether they are in favour of Occupy Central or against.
  • SCMP report: PolyU won’t punish those who cut classes to join Occupy Central
  • 2 Student Unions have issued students’ strike declarations

Responses to students’ strike from 11 universities and colleges in Hong Kong

Updated on 7 Sept 2014 

The University of Hong Kong
Students can apply for personal leaves for participating in social movements. 

The Chinese University of Hong Kong
Students can apply for personal leaves for participating in social movements. 

The Hong Kong Institute of Education
Students can apply for personal leaves for participating in social movements.

The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology
Students can apply for personal leaves for participating in social movements. 

The Hong Kong Polytechnic University
Students are free to go on strike.  Teachers who intend to go on strike need to apply for leaves and arrange their substitutes.  Neither teachers nor students will be punished for going on strike. 

City University of Hong Kong
Teachers and students should discuss and make alternative class arrangements.

Lingnan University
Teachers and students should discuss and make alternative class arrangements.

Chu Hai College of Higher Education
Students must apply for leave. Faculty members are required to inform the school and arrange make-up classes. Students are not encouraged to be absent for a long period of time. 

Hang Seng Management College
Students with less than 80% attendance will not be allowed to sit for examinations. However, it is within the teacher’s discretion to settle the matter.

Hong Kong Shue Yan University
Students should apply for leave, but those who are absent from 6 classes or more without providing acceptable reasons to the school will not be allowed to sit for the final examination. Teaching staff who are absent from work will also need to give explanations to the school and arrange make-up classes with students.

Hong Kong Baptist University
Students who are reported to be absent in more than 15% of class on a certain subject without approval will not be allowed to sit for the examinations of that subject. Teachers need to obtain prior approval from chairman of department for absence from school and make appropriate arrangements.

Open University
Students and faculty are NOT encouraged to participate in students’ strike. If students and faculty will be punished if found to have violated code of conduct.