The Education Bureau of Hong Kong Special Administrative Region issued a circular to all schools in Hong Kong on Monday, announcing details of a requirement for newly appointed teachers to pass the Basic Law and National Security Law Test (BLNST) starting from the 2023-24 school year, according to the news website of the regional government.
A spokesman for the education bureau said, "The Basic Law is closely related to our daily lives and has been a key element of the school curriculum, which shall be strengthened. Teachers should have a correct understanding of the Basic Law so that they could enlighten students and help them correctly understand the constitutional status of Hong Kong and develop positive attitudes toward the Basic Law and One Country, Two Systems."
Currently, newly appointed teachers in public schools are required to pass the Basic Law Test in order to be considered for appointment. As announced in the Chief Executive's 2022 Policy Address, the Basic Law Test requirement will be extended to cover all Direct Subsidy Scheme schools and kindergartens joining the kindergarten education scheme starting from the 2023-24 school year, according to the regional government.
The test covers the Basic Law and the National Security Law. Apart from regular teachers, newly appointed teachers remunerated with a cash grant must also obtain a pass in the test. The requirement applies to all teacher grade ranks, including principals, said the spokesman for the education bureau.
The education bureau will conduct five rounds of the BLNST for degree holders and non-degree holders in this school year, in view of the different entry requirements for teaching posts in secondary and primary schools as well as kindergartens.
Teachers who have sat for and obtained a pass result in any Basic Law Test and plan to join or change schools in the 2023-24 school year must take the BLNST and attain a pass result in order to be considered for appointment, said the spokesperson.
For the content and format of the BLNST organized by the regional education bureau, the bureau has drawn reference from the arrangements of the BLNST conducted by the Civil Service Bureau.
The written test under the bureau is a bilingual paper, in English and Chinese, and candidates scoring at least 10 out of 20 multiple-choice questions will be deemed to have a pass result in the BLNST.
Teachers with a pass result in the BLNST issued by the Civil Service Bureau will be deemed to have met the relevant requirement and are not required to take the Education Bureau's BLNST again.
The first round of the BLNST, at degree level, is scheduled for December 3. Those who are interested may apply from Wednesday to November 7 through an online application system on the education bureau's webpage.
The remaining test dates will be announced later in due course, according to the news website of the regional government.