Thousands of Hong Kong parents and activists have protested against a plan to introduce national education lessons, labelling it as a bid to brainwash children with Chinese propaganda.
Organisers said Sunday’s protest, which attracted stroller-pushing parents, involved 90,000 demonstrators, but police estimates gave a lower figure of 32,000.
“As a parent, I’m very angry, this is a blatant brainwashing,” mother-of-three Sandra Wong said as she marched in the sweltering heat accompanied by her husband and pushing her two-year-old daughter in a stroller.
“The curriculum only paints a rosy picture about the Communist Party… This is just an attempt to introduce the mainland agenda in Hong Kong schools.”
The government has said national education lessons, to be introduced in September and made compulsory in 2015, are important to foster a sense of national pride and belonging.
The protest underscored rising anti-Beijing sentiments, coming weeks after the city’s biggest demonstration in nearly a decade, as new leader Leung Chun-ying, also called chief executive, was sworn in before Hu Jintao, the Chinese president.