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Hong Kong security law

Thousands of students leave Hong Kong schools in growing exodus

Concerned parents plot escape amid China's national security law

Students participate in a flag-raising ceremony at a school in Hong Kong in October. The city government is instructing educators to focus on more "patriotic" education.   © Reuters

HONG KONG -- Concerned Hong Kong parents are pulling their children from local schools in droves, hoping to move or educate them abroad as Beijing increases control over the city under a sweeping national security law.

A total of 4,460 students have left the territory's secondary schools -- which span grades seven to 12 -- in the last year, according to a survey by the Hong Kong Association of the Heads of Secondary Schools, with 2,643 of them saying they will be moving or enrolling in schools abroad.

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