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Urging the Education Bureau to follow up the safety problem of green roofs in school premises

Dear Members,


Following the collapse of the roof of the Sports Hall of the City University of Hong Kong, I went to the scene and liaised with teaching staff representatives to see what could be done to help. It was most fortunate that there were no activities in the Sports Hall on that particular day and teaching staff and students in the vicinity were immediately evacuated, thus averting what might otherwise have been an incident with heavy casualties. I called on the university to conduct a thorough investigation into the incident soonest possible, and carry out checks on other buildings so as to ensure the safety of teaching staff and students. Subsequently, I went to CityU again and had a meeting with the university’s management and asked them to convey my regards to staff members injured in the incident. CityU has already set up an Investigation Committee to look into the incident. The Investigation Committee is expected to submit its report in early June.

The incident has aroused the public’s concern over green roofs. On 25 May, I raised an urgent question in the Legislative Council, asking the Education Bureau to conduct an assessment of green roofs in all primary and secondary schools in Hong Kong and to help schools to conduct safety checks so as to ensure the safety of teaching staff and students. Unfortunately, the Education Bureau has not made any commitment to conducting safety checks and covering the expenses thereof. What the Education Bureau has done is simply reminding schools of the need to comply with regulations governing green roofs and to carry out relevant checks and maintenance. Scarcely can this offer any help to schools.

We have already been in contact with some engineers who are willing to, free of charge, help schools to conduct preliminary checks. Where necessary, schools are welcome to contact my office.

2016-05-25
Ip Kin-yuen: Will the Education Bureau take up the responsibility and bear the cost of conducting safety checks for those schools that have green roofs? (video)

I will continue to follow up the matter and would urge you to continue keeping a close watch on the issue. If you have any comments, please email them to [email protected].


This year marks the 27th anniversary of the June 4 massacre. In response to the situation facing us, the Hong Kong Alliance in Support of Patriotic Democratic Movements of China has set ‘Vindicating June 4, Stopping indiscriminate arrests, Ending one-party monopoly, Striving for democracy’ as the theme of the anniversary. I would like to urge you to attend the candlelight memorial rally scheduled for Saturday 4 June. Details

Calling for urgent remedial work for sub-standard school premises Let’s adopt a positive attitude towards schools for social development (SSDs)
Congratulating HKIEd on being officially retitled ‘The Education University of Hong Kong’ Snapshots Speeches

Calling for urgent remedial work for sub-standard school premises

16 May Press conference on Pressing improvement on school premises

Recently, I visited quite a number of different types of sub-standard school premises. These visits enabled me to readily appreciate how teachers and students in such sub-standard conditions feel about their safety and impelled me to conclude that government’s procrastination over the years in the handling of sub-standard school premises is even more unacceptable.

Accompanied by several school principals, I held a press conference and urged the authorities to, soonest possible, carry out remedial work for sub-standard school premises. What was particularly memorable was the special ‘collections’ the school principals brought to the press conference and the shocking stories they shared with us, such as a 2-lb concrete generating a crisis, an extremely old electrical switch almost causing a fire, a computer in the principal’s office being flooded with water, and a half-century-old window handle falling to the playground.

Notwithstanding limited resources and an extremely harsh environment, our schools in these sub-standard premises have managed to win support from parents and affirmation from the community and have repeatedly produced good results. All these achievements are attributable to the extra efforts made by the teaching staff. Their dedication and hard work should also receive the support and affirmation of the government. I will continue to follow up this issue.

 

Let’s adopt a positive attitude towards schools for social development (SSDs)

8 May Press conference on Treating schools for social development with a positive view

Earlier on, a few individuals opposed the construction of a school for social development (SSD) in Tuen Mun. In view of this, I held a press conference together with Dr the Hon Fernando CHEUNG Chiu-hung and the Hon CHEUNG Kwok-che. We also invited the principals of quite a number of SSDs and representatives of the Hong Kong Special Education Council and the Special Education Society of Hong Kong to give a presentation on the history of SSDs and the contributions they have made. We hope that the general public will have a better understanding of SSDs and develop a positive attitude towards them.

At the press conference, I expressed my hope that when Tung Wan Mok Law Shui Wah School moves to Tuen Mun, it would be able to have the respect and acceptance of the community there. Coupled with the support of teachers and social workers, a more ideal education environment will facilitate the integration of SSD students into the mainstream of education.

In the absence of any objection, the Panel on Education supported, on 9 May, the project of Tung Wan Mok Law Shui Wah School moving to Tuen Mun. In June, the project will be submitted to the Public Works Sub-committee and the Finance Committee for consideration.


 

Congratulating HKIEd on being officially retitled ‘The Education University of Hong Kong’

29 January I organised a meeting between Legislative Councillors, President of HKIEd Prof. Stephen CHEUNG and representatives of staff and students

On 19 May, Legislative Council passed The Hong Kong Institute of Education (Amendment) Bill 2016, which officially retitles The Hong Kong Institute of Education (HKIEd) ‘The Education University of Hong Kong’ (EdUHK). This writes an important page into the history of Hong Kong’s education.

With HKIEd, I have a very close relationship. I taught in HKIEd for 11 years and 4 months (1995 to 2006), which has been the longest job in my career. Around 1997 - 98, I served as an elected member of HKIEd’s Council. In 2006, together with Dr LAI Kwok-chan, I established HKIEd’s Centre for Development and Research in Small Class Teaching. Currently, I am serving as a consultant for HKIEd’s Centre for Excellence in Learning and Teaching. I was also one of the major players in what was widely known as the ‘HKIEd Storm’ 10 years ago.

I hope that EdUHK’s teaching staff and students will perform even better and contribute towards the advancement of Hong Kong’s education. I would like to pay special tributes to Professor Bernard LUK Hung-kay, who passed away recently. I would also like to wish EdUHK even more outstanding achievements in the years to come.

2016-05-18 Legislative Council Meeting
IP Kin-yuen: HKIEd will be the past and will be renamed EdUHK (video)

 

Calling on Ming Pao to retract its decision to dismiss Keung Kwok-yuen

On 29 May, HKPTU and I submitted to Ming Pao’s management a letter jointly signed by around 200 member representatives of more than 100 school units, calling on Ming Pao’s Editor-in-Chief, Mr CHONG Tien-siong, to retract the decision to dismiss Executive Chief Editor, Mr KEUNG Kwok-yuen (pen name: On Yu) and to clarify the issue to the general public, so as to retrieve the education sector’s confidence in Ming Pao.

Lodging a complaint about what are likely to be obscene and indecent articles

Earlier on, I received complaints from a number of parents and teachers about two books depicting murder, the boiling of human flesh, sexual abuses, etc. currently on sale in major bookshops without any warning labels affixed to them nor are they sealed in a wrapper, likely to be in breach of the Control of Obscene and Indecent Articles Ordinance. On 11 May, I wrote to the Director of Film, Newspaper and Article Administration, urging relevant authorities to follow up the cases soonest possible. I would also like to urge parents and the education sector to, before buying books for a juvenile, check and have a clear idea of the contents of the books.

Meeting the Director and other officials of the Hong Kong Observatory

On 17 May, I had a meeting with the Director of the Hong Kong Observatory and his colleagues, focusing on operational aspects of the release of rainstorm warning signals and the Observatory’s notification mechanism with the Education Bureau. We also exchanged views on a recent incident in which information released was perceived by the public as confusing. I conveyed the education sector’s concern about the release of rainstorm warning signals, gale warning signals and extreme weather warning signals. I emphasized that the education sector needs more meteorological information in order to be able to respond promptly and accurately.

Following up problems of self-financing post-secondary institutions collecting enrolment deposits and first installments of tuition fees much too early

There has been concern among parents and students about self-financing post-secondary institutions collecting enrolment deposits and first installments of tuition fees at too early a stage. On 25 May, I raised a verbal enquiry in the Legislative Council calling on the Education Bureau to follow up the issue. Most self-financing post-secondary institutions have now agreed to implement additional new arrangements from 2016 onwards. For example, for current candidates of HKDSE Examination and JUPAS applicants, the deadline for settling the first installment of tuition fees will be no earlier than one day after the announcement of JUPAS Main Round offer.


25 May 2016
Legislative Council Meeting
IP Kin-yuen: Self-financing post-secondary institutions collect enrolment deposits and first instalments of tuition fees at a too early stage

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