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Letter: Post-colonial Hong Kong should rethink religious schools

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LettersPost-colonial Hong Kong should rethink religious schools

Readers discuss whether religious schools still have a place in Hong Kong, and why schools on outlying islands shouldn’t have to closeEducation in Hong KongLettersPublished: 11:30am, 3 Oct, 2023Why you can trust SCMP

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As a recipient of Catholic and Christian education, I must begin with my sincere appreciation for the vital role that religious bodies have played in nurturing generations of competent and virtuous workers in Hong Kong. In the city’s earlier years, churches were among the first to establish schools that were centres of academic learning, and moral and spiritual education, with influence permeating the city’s cultural, social and political spheres.

However, as times change, it would be beneficial for the city to critically examine the role of religious bodies in Hong Kong’s education system. It may be time for religious bodies to step back as the city sheds its colonial past.

The Basic Law upholds the principle of religious freedom. In a de jure sense, the operation of religious schools appears to comply with this principle, as students and parents can freely choose schools that align with their religious beliefs, if any. However, such a system fosters an environment conducive to a de facto denial of such freedom.

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