It is very overt now. There was a metamorphosis happening in front of our school gates. In these few days, we can notice the existence of big black banners laying on the ground, and people standing nearby distributing small yellow ribbons, with the words spoken again and again sempiternally as we students walk by. “Please support the boycott! Please support the boycott!” Despite our hardest effort to wipe this slogan out of our mind, this thought is still lingering inside our hearts. Should we participate in this event? This is the common conundrum.
This article will delve into this enigma.
The proposition of this boycott was conceived by several democratic activists in Hong Kong, including the Hong Kong Federation of Students and Scholarism, two activist groups organized by students. They prepared to organize a week long pro-democratic boycott starting from 23th September. Students participating the boycott are advised to join rallies and to attend public lectures which will be held in major parks near governmental offices.
What is the reason leading to this proposition? Within these several months, the debate of Occupy Central has been attracting more and more attention. The discussion of whether solid actions has to be made to request the Chinese government to grant Hong Kong genuine universal suffrage in 2017 elicits an augment of attention from the mass media. Activists groups who planned Occupy Central are trying to proliferate and disseminate their message that everyone is involved in this major political event, including secondary students who were considered to remain callous towards political matters.
These are the details and background of this boycott. Today, we are facing the dilemma of whether to exercise our own rights to speak for Hong Kong’s future or to remain idle and follow the conventional chores of a secondary school student.
Although we may not be able to make a choice without further meditation, we do certainly witness something significant and new in this whole event – the serious participation of secondary students in political matters.
This can be seen in two ways. Firstly, the boycott is organized by several democratic activists groups in Hong Kong. As I’ve mentioned, the major role is played by secondary school students, who formed the activist groups and conceived of this idea. During the preceding days, we can see them standing on stages, delivering vehement speeches like a governmental officer, and shedding tears like a revolutionary hero. With excellent cooperation and ability, they have already done something we can’t believe. They have amalgamated a large group and supporters together and spread their message well enough for people to believe that they are serious about the boycott and Occupy Central. Secondly, it is lucid that all secondary school students are affected by the new of the imminent boycott. Due to the brilliant propaganda skills of the activists, there shall be students being attracted and will join the boycott in Tuesday. Although it cannot be asserted that the response will be significant, the participation of at least a few students is imperative.
So it is discovered that a new element will be added to political events and discussions nowadays. A decade ago, this certain type of situation is radical. A question may evolve that why such aberrant situation in the past turns out to be lucid in this era. What are the reasons that substantiate the emerging political force formed by school students?
In my sentiment, there are three factors contributing to this situation.
Firstly, students are more aware of their civil rights. According to the Basic Law of SAR, everyone has the right to enjoy the freedom of speech, including citizens of all age groups. They are allowed to articulate their thoughts about the present political situation in a high level of freedom. This certain message has been picking up awareness in these few years. Secondary school students understand that they also have the right to speak up for their own intentions, and therefore begin to be more aware of the politics of Hong Kong.
Secondly, there was a recent trend of blending secondary education and the Hong Kong political environment. Since the introducing of HKDSE as a displacement of HKCE, Liberal Studies has been one of the subjects that are compulsory for secondary students. The curriculum of this subject requires a fully understanding of the society and the political environment of Hong Kong. In order to gain more experience and knowledge to fully equip them for the HKDSE, students may consider devote time and effort to really participate in these political events. Even those who are lethargic and tend to sit and study also start to develop personal opinions towards certain issues. Therefore, students are allowed to think more and even act under the influence of the new examination.
Thirdly, students adopt the notion that they are the future of the society. According to recent respected researches, a majority of the major governmental officials in Hong Kong are of a relatively old age. As they are pending towards retirement, it is an imperative that the younger generation is going replace the older generation as the next government in Hong Kong. This belief bolsters secondary school student’s confidence and willingness to strive and have themselves involved in politics.
As a conclusion, the increasing awareness of rights, modern education and strong belief are some of the major factors contributing to secondary students increasing participation in political events, including the recent boycott.
If we live in a different era, in a different Hong Kong, perhaps a few decades ago, it would seem impossible for a boycott run by students happen in this piece of land. But today, everything has changed. It is certain that in the imminent future, we will see more and more political events run by Hong Kong Federation of Students or Scholarism. Secondary students will appear on out television screen more frequently, even until the day they step up and rule this piece of land. When the time has come, it is inevitable.
But what comes before us now is not the imminent future we conceived of. We are already facing the enigma of whether we should participate in this boycott or not. This we will have to go with your heart, whether you should follow your intrepid passion or your logical mind. However, I do like you to answer a few question before you ascertain your decision.
1. Do you think the boycott is effective in persuading the Chinese government to change decisions?
2. Will you guarantee that the boycott will only be held in an appropriate and peaceful manner, with no latent violent events sprinkled along the process?
3. Do you assure that your intention of achieving universal suffrage will come true, even if you did not pay the effort?
4. Which one do you think will be the best decision in improving your future life, attending school or joining boycott?
Make your rational decision today.