Kevin Yeung Yun-hung
|Secretary for Education|
|Assumed office |
1 July 2017
|Chief Executive||Carrie Lam|
|Preceded by||Eddie Ng|
|Under Secretary for Education|
1 July 2012 – 30 June 2017
|Chief Executive||Leung Chun-ying|
|Preceded by||Kenneth Chan|
|Succeeded by||Christine Choi Yuk-lin|
|Born||January 26, 1963|
|Alma mater||Wah Yan College, Kowloon|
University of Hong Kong
He graduated from the University of Hong Kong with a Bachelor of Social Sciences and a Master of Business Administration degree from the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology University in Australia. He worked as an accountant in the private sector for seven years before joining the Hong Kong government in 1992 as an administrative officer.
He served in various bureaux and departments, including more than four years as assistant to Secretary for Home Affairs Tsang Tak-sing. In 2010 he transferred to the Food and Health Bureau, and later served in the Home Affairs Bureau, the Kowloon City District Office, and the Hong Kong Economic and Trade Office in Sydney. He was promoted to Administrative Officer Staff Grade C in 2004. In November 2012, he was appointed Under Secretary for Education.
In his two senior Education Bureau roles, Yeung has frequently been criticised for his positions on contentious education matters, including: his support for Mandarin language teaching over Cantonese, his mother tongue; calling for teachers to dissuade students from voicing support for the 2019–20 Hong Kong protests and that any school principal who supports a teacher under investigation may be disqualified; and speedy criticism of a question in the 2020 Hong Kong Diploma of Secondary Education Examination that asked if Japan 'did more good than harm to China' between 1900 and 1945, calling it "problematic" and "biased".
In June 2020, he wrote to school principals urging them to discipline students who took part in a union-organised referendum on whether to boycott classes as a protest against China's imposition of national security legislation through amending an annex to the Basic Law, calling it a 'meaningless ballot'. His letter also told principals to ensure that students did not shout slogans, form human chains, put up posters or even sing songs containing political messages.
In July 2020, he wrote "No one, including students, should play, sing and broadcast songs which contain political messages or hold any activities to express their political stance" despite the fact that he sent his own son and daughter to attend university in Australia, where freedom of political communication is an implied right in the constitution.
In late August 2020, Kevin Yeung said that "separation of powers" should be removed from Liberal Studies textbooks. This statement had a snowball effect, as a day later, Carrie Lam expressed "full support" for that opinion. A week later, both the Liaison Office and Hong Kong and Macao Affairs Office released statements, saying that separation of powers does not exist in Hong Kong. In addition, Teresa Cheng reiterated the position and said that separation of powers "has no place" in Hong Kong.
In October 2020, Yeung announced that details of certain investigations into teachers would be published online to inform the public and educators of what the government deems unacceptable. Additionally, Yeung said that if Hong Kong independence is discussed in schools, then teachers must make the students conclude that the idea is not feasible.
In November 2020, Yeung said that his department would seek legal authority for more extensive punishments against teachers, including the suspension of their teaching licenses, the withholding or deduction of their salaries, and other penalties. In regards to classroom material that may be "problematic," such as discussions on Hong Kong independence, Yeung said that teachers "should report the matter to their supervisors so amendments could be made," and that if the teachers "stay silent, they should be held responsible."
Also in November 2020, Yeung announced changes to the liberal studies curriculum in Hong Kong, including the vetting of all textbooks to remove material which pro-Beijing figures have said were biased against the government. Some educators noted that some of Yeung's changes, such as moving the grading system to pass/fail, ran contrary to recommendations made by a task force that had reviewed the subject for three years.
- "Under Secretaries and Political Assistants appointed".
- "【短片：粵語非母語？】楊潤雄：讓教師看不同學者意見 指小學教育可知教學語言立場 (13:00) - 20180502 - 港聞". 即時新聞 instant news. 2018-05-02.
- "杨润雄强调教育局法律上有权". 蘋果日報. 2019-12-30.
- "教育局局長楊潤雄下午三時見記者". 香港電台 (in Chinese). Retrieved 2020-05-18.
- Schools asked to punish students who boycott classes, RTHK, 10 June 2020
- "No-one in Hong Kong schools should 'hold any activities to express their political stance,' says education chief, as protest song banned". Hong Kong Free Press HKFP. 2020-07-08. Retrieved 2020-09-01.
- "LCQ22: Restricting students' freedom of expression". www.info.gov.hk. Retrieved 2020-09-01.
- "New Hong Kong education chief defends enrolling own children in int'l school". Hong Kong Free Press HKFP. 2017-07-07. Retrieved 2020-09-01.
- Creery, Jennifer (2020-09-01). "No separation of powers in Hong Kong says Chief Exec. Carrie Lam, despite previous comments from top judges". Hong Kong Free Press HKFP. Retrieved 2020-09-09.
- "Beijing agencies express support for Chief Exec. Carrie Lam's stance that Hong Kong has no separation of powers". Hong Kong Free Press HKFP. 2020-09-09. Retrieved 2020-09-09.
- "'Separation of powers' has no place in Hong Kong, justice chief says". South China Morning Post. 2020-09-09. Retrieved 2020-09-09.
- "Complaints against teachers to be published online - RTHK". news.rthk.hk. Retrieved 2020-10-12.
- "Education officials misled public to justify teacher's delisting". Apple Daily 蘋果日報 (in Chinese). Retrieved 2020-10-12.
- "Hong Kong education minister wants more powers to punish teachers". Apple Daily 蘋果日報 (in Chinese). Retrieved 2020-11-10.
- "Teachers should report 'problematic' study materials to superiors: education minister". South China Morning Post. 2020-11-11. Retrieved 2020-11-11.
- "Hong Kong to rename liberal studies, require students visit mainland China". South China Morning Post. 2020-11-26. Retrieved 2020-11-26.
| Under Secretary for Education
| Secretary for Education