Thousands of parents, students and activists took to the streets of Hong Kong today to protest against upcoming Chinese patriotism classes, according to the Associated Press.
Hong Kong authorities have published a book titled “The China Model” that extols the virtues of the one-party political system on the mainland, Reuters reported.
It will form the basis of the “Moral and National Education” curriculum to be introduced into schools in Hong Kong in the coming years.
Parents are worried their children will be brainwashed and are calling on authorities to bin the book and the rest of the teaching material.
“We don't want our child to be fed this material, said P.S. Ho, who has a four-year-old daughter.
"If the initiative continues without changes, maybe we will change schools later or immigrate to another country.”
The government has defended the new curriculum, saying it is intended to “bolster students’ knowledge of Chinese current affairs, history and culture,” according to the Financial Times.
The Hong Kong administration, under new leader Leung Chun-ying, who has close ties to Beijing, is pushing for the curriculum to be introduced into schools in September.
The plan is to make it compulsory in three years.
Many Hong Kong residents are increasingly worried that Beijing is exerting too much influence over the former British colony, which was returned to Chinese rule in 1997.
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