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If you cannot see this message properly, please click here. 2016.06.21


Don’t force the Belt and Road
Scholarship Scheme on the Finance Committee

Dear Teachers,

Much controversy has been aroused over government’s proposal in Policy Address 2016 to inject HK$1 billion into the scholarship fund as seed money for the purpose of encouraging students from Belt and Road regions to pursue studies in Hong Kong. Both inside and outside the Legislative Council, I have repeatedly criticized this proposal as being generous to others at the expense of our own people and suggested that the government should, instead, accord priority to tackling the various education problems here in Hong Kong. What is most exasperating is that the government has never before been so enthusiastic in securing HK$1 billion for our own education projects.

While the government has now made the originally ‘one-way’ scholarship scheme ‘two-way’, i.e. the scheme now also encourages Hong Kong students to take up bachelor degree programmes in Belt and Road regions, I remain sceptical about the objectives and effectiveness of the scholarship scheme. Hardly can this scheme help our students and our education sector to solve the many urgent problems confronting us right now.

If we make a list of the various problems facing the education sector and prioritize them, there is absolutely no justification for giving HK$1 billion to the Belt and Road scholarship scheme! Rumour had it that the government intended to put a funding proposal for the scheme ahead of the one for raising civil servants’ pay, threatening to force the Legislative Council to countenance the proposal. Pan-democratic Legislative Councillors and I held a press conference on 15 June to, once again, call on the government to retract this non-urgent funding proposal.

2016-06-13 Meeting of Panel on Education of the Legislative Council
IP Kin-yuen: We do not need ‘One belt, one road’. Solve urgent problems first, and will achieve the people-to-people bond! (Video)

 On a separate development, I have recently published ‘A Focus on Post-Secondary Education’, ‘A Focus on Secondary and Primary Education’ and ‘A Focus on Early Childhood Education’, in which I recall what I have done in education in recent years. They will be mailed to your school next week. Your comments would be very much appreciated. They would help me to make improvements in my work.

Volunteers Wanted !!!

The election of the Legislative Council will begin soon. I am now recruiting volunteers to help strengthening the communication with members in schools and organizing other election related activities. Incumbent and retired teachers are welcomed to register! Online registration

(Election Advertisement)

Government has undertaken to conduct checks on green roof works in all primary and secondary schools Concern for contract teachers’ interests
Guidelines on school operation in adverse weather conditions inadequate, half of our principals say Snapshots Speeches

Government has undertaken to conduct checks on green roof works in all primary and secondary schools

16 June An engineer was invited to voluntarily check the green rooftop of a school

On 15 June, the Secretary for Development, Paul CHAN Mo-po, undertook to me in the Legislative Council that he would ask Departments concerned, including the Architectural Services Department and the Buildings Department, to conduct, within the summer holidays, safety checks on green roof works in all primary and secondary schools so as to ensure the safety of all schools. This is government’s first clear-cut pledge in respect of green roof works. I will continue to monitor the progress of government’s checking.

Separately, 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.

We have already published our Stance on Improving Sub-standard School Premises (in Chinese), at which you are most welcome to have a look.

2016-06-15 Council meeting of Legislative Council
Government promised to complete all the checks for green rooftops in primary and secondary schools within the summer holiday (Video)

Concern for contract teachers’ interests

29 May Press conference on ‘Survey on contract teachers and teaching assistants 2016’


Press release and Investigation report (in Chinese)

HKPTU held a press conference on 29 May to announce the publication of its ‘Report on Contract Teachers and Teaching Assistants Survey 2016’. The Report points out that at the moment, there are almost 10,000 short-term contract teachers, associate teachers/assistant teachers and teaching assistants (accounting for 20% of our teaching force). They have long been unfairly treated and are victims of ‘structural deprivation’, which has been eroding the will of our young teachers, destroying the stable learning environment of our schools and endangering the quality of our education and the prospects of our profession.

We believe that the government should, soonest possible, come up with short-term and long-term measures to solve the problems confronting us.
• On short-term measures, we believe that the government should strive to stabilize the environment of our primary and secondary schools and prevent the loss of teachers due to population decline (for example, by allowing the deadline of the three preservation measures for the retention of surplus teachers to be automatically extended for secondary schools).
• As regards medium-term measures, the government should review the drawbacks of the use of short-term subsidies and convert such subsidies into recurrent allocations.
• As a long-term solution, the government should improve class-to-teacher ratios for primary and secondary schools and increase the number of permanent teaching posts so as to enhance the quality of teaching.

We will seek an appointment with the Education Bureau for a discussion on the problem of contract teachers.


Guidelines on school operation in adverse weather conditions inadequate, half of our principals say

8 June HKPTU announced the result of questionnaire on the suspension of classes under heavy persistent rain

At 7:35 am on 10 May, the Hong Kong Observatory issued a red rainstorm warning signal. 10 minutes after that, the Education Bureau announced the closure of all kindergartens, primary schools and secondary schools. As the announcement was made at a time when most of our teachers and students were already on their way to school and as it did not synchronize with Hong Kong Observatory’s issue of the rainstorm warning signal, there were, to a certain extent, confusion experienced by schools, parents and students.

To understand the actual situation and to explore how to overcome such confusion, HKPTU conducted, during 19 to 27 May, a questionnaire survey of primary and secondary schools, kindergartens and special education schools. The survey reveals that half of our principals considered Education Bureau’s guidelines inadequate and that there was confusion experienced by half of our primary schools.


Follow-up on whether graduates of the former HKIEd can get a graduation certificate from EdUHK

I was honoured to be invited to a party celebrating the establishment of the Education University of Hong Kong. Apart from offering my best wishes, I consulted EdUHK’s President, Professor Stephen CHEUNG Yan-leung, on the possibility of graduates of the former HKIEd getting a graduation certificate from EdUHK. I was told that graduates ever since the establishment of HKIEd in 1994 and up to the establishment of EdUHK could, if they so request, get a document entitled ‘Documentary Proof of Retitling’, a sample of which is available here.

Commemorating June 4

On 4 June, I attended the June 4 Candlelight Vigil at Victoria Park. I lit a candle. Its light intermingled with the candlelight of thousands of other citizens. Together, we will continue to safeguard Hong Kong’s core values and conscience.

Open forum on how to reform the governance of higher education institutions

The report published in March by the University Grants Committee entitled “Governance in UGC-funded Higher Education Institutions in Hong Kong” sets out a number of proposals on the governance of higher education institutions. On 5 June, HKPTU organized an open forum, to which stakeholders of higher education institutions and scholars were invited as speakers to discuss UGC’s governance report, governance in higher education institutions and issues relating to making amendments to university Ordinances.


Bringing to Equal Opportunities Commission’s Chairperson the ‘equal work but unequal pay’ problem faced by our contract teachers

I had a meeting with Equal Opportunities Commission’s new Chairperson, Professor Alfred CHAN Cheung-ming for a discussion on a number of education-related issues. In particular, I stressed that the problem of ‘equal work but unequal pay’ was very serious for our contract teachers, who had long been unfairly treated, such treatment being in violation of the right to ‘equal pay for equal work’ enshrined in Article 23 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. I submitted to Professor CHAN a recent report compiled by HKPTU on a survey of contract teachers and requested him to follow up the issue.


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