If you cannot see this message properly, please click here. 2015.08.04

 

Defend the castle for academic freedom together!

Dear Members,

As an alumnus of the University of Hong Kong, I am very worried about the continuous delay with various reasons in the appointment process of the pro-vice-chancellor (academic staffing and resources) of HKU. I worry that the incident violates procedural justice, involves non-academic reasons or even political intervention as rumours stated. Therefore, together with a group of alumni, we established the ‘HKU Alumni Concern Group’ in early July to urge the Council of HKU to follow the established procedure and confirm the suggestion from the search committee for pro-vice-chancellor as soon as possible. At the same time, the Chief Executive inevitably is the Chancellor of HKU according to the existing system, so we urge for a reform on this system.

The recent development of the issue has raised much concern in the society, which includes the dispute arising in the meeting of the Council on 28 July. I think what is the most important for HKU now is everyone has to put down their opposition mentality and return to a calmer stage. Therefore, I would suggest the establishment of a 3-way communication platform consisting of the representative of the vice-chancellor and deans, the representative of the Chairman and members of the Council, and the Student Union, which aims to solve the current dispute through communication. I hope the Council can return to the normal mechanism and the students can return to peace.

2015-07-28 Black petition

The concern group formally started the online petition of “Protect the Integrity of HKU, Safeguard University Autonomy; Uphold Academic Freedom” on 12 July. The group has also met with the Chairman of the Council Dr. Leong Che-hung and the president and vice-chancellor Prof. Peter Mathieson on 18 and 20 July respectively to discuss about the progress of the incident and expressed the concern from the alumni. In the end, we collected signatures from 1,536 alumni, 909 members of the public and 21 organisations. We published the declaration and the petition on Chinese and English newspapers on 28 July to urge the Council to set things right. If HKU has fallen, other institutes are also in danger!

We hope our fellow colleagues can continue to pay attention to this issue and provide your opinion. Please email it to [email protected].

IP KIN YUEN

Snapshots Rights and interests of contract teachers
Speeches Urge the government to withdraw the Basic Law video teaching pack

Face the dilemma befalling the contract teachers, and improve education habitat

A contract teacher who owned 3 masters’ degrees committed suicide earlier has initiated public attention on the prospects and remuneration of contract teachers. Recent research from the HKPTU indicated that the characteristics of current contract teachers include being young, highly educated, changing jobs frequently, and lack of protection in their work. I think the situation of contract teachers and teaching assistants are highly related to the long-term education development of Hong Kong. The government must formulate both short and long-term measures to solve the dilemma faced by contract teachers, so to improve the overall education habitat.
2015-07-17 HKPTU announced the results of the investigation on the working condition of contract teachers/ teaching assistants.

2015-07-19 Over 10 members of the HKPTU stayed overnight at the Central Government Office, urging to talk to Secretary for Education, Eddie Ng to review the contract teacher system and to increase the number of permanent post.





Urge the government to withdraw the Basic Law video teaching resource package

On 12 July, the HKPTU together with the Progressive Lawyers Group reviewed deeply into the Basic Law video teaching resource package and published a report on the problems of the teaching pack from the educational and legal perspectives. We think that the problems of the teaching pack include intentional or unintentional omission of facts, putting controversial issues uncontroversial, biased and inconsistent with the facts. We worry that the teaching pack may become a tool for political indoctrination. Therefore, we urge the government to withdraw the current version and re-compile another Basic Law teaching pack for schools.

Fight for true quality and free kindergarten education

On 4 July, the Subcommittee to Study the Implementation of Free Kindergarten Education of LegCo hosted a meeting to allow the public to respond to the Report of the Committee on Free Kindergarten Education which was published in end of May. Before the start of the meeting, kindergarten teachers, parents and children demonstrated outside the LegCo to urge for the implementation of quality and free kindergarten education, and for the establishment of professional ladder for kindergarten teachers.

July 1 march

I joined the July 1 march to continue fighting for true universal suffrage. At the same time, I expressed my worry on the crisis of academic freedom in the University of Hong Kong. I urged the Council of HKU to follow the established procedure and confirm the suggestion from the search committee for pro-vice-chancellor as soon as possible.

Pan-democrat’s retreat meeting

On 26 July, the pan-democratic Legislative Councillors organised an 8-hour long retreat meeting. To conclude, we will be strengthening cooperation and uniting our supporters even further in every aspect, including the upcoming district council election, livelihood issues, the work in the LegCo, etc. Other than that, we do not wish the Central government only listens to the pro-establishment. If there is the chance, we will be expressing our opinions to the Central government clearly.

Hosting students visiting the LegCo

On 8 July, I hosted a group of secondary students in the Legislative Council and introduced to them the operation of the council. A student asked why the president of LegCo, Hon Jasper TSANG Yok-sing, made a ruling to Hon LEUNG Kwok-hung on not allowing him wearing short trousers to attend LegCo meetings. Because of his curiosity, I asked the students if they agree councillors can wear short trousers to attend meetings. The result was, only a few raised their hands to support!

8 July
Special Holiday (3 September 2015) Bill

13 July
Not forgetting the 4 June incident

13 July
Electoral Legislation (Miscellaneous Amendments) Bill 2015 Second Reading

Representative of Hong Kong Professional Teachers’ Union
in Legislative Council,
Hon IP Kin-yuen
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