English teachers from abroad will have to take an oath of allegiance in Hong Kong if they want to continue working in public schools. Until the 21st
All native English teachers are required to sign a declaration on June 11 that they are loyal to Hong Kong, respect the Basic Law of SAR China and are accountable to the government, the education administration said on Saturday. If they refuse or do not comply, their contract will be terminated.
Since 1997, Hong Kong’s government has been luring native English teachers to its elementary and secondary schools with high salaries and other perks in order to improve students’ language skills. The contracts run for two years, but can be extended.
Despite the good pay, however, the city is having increasing problems retaining its foreign teaching staff. According to a government report in April, 13 percent of native English speakers have retired from teaching in the 2020-2021 school year, an all-time high.
The head of education administration, Kevin Yeung, recently rejected in parliament that this could also be related to the strict corona measures in Hong Kong. Some teachers also fear that the political climate in schools will be more and more adapted to mainland China’s authoritarian model.