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If you cannot see this message properly, please click here. 2016.07.15


Legislative Council urges the government to stop having ‘Putonghua as the medium of instruction for teaching
the Chinese Language Subject’ as a long-term target

Dear Teachers,

All along we support the target of biliteracy and trilingualism and helping our students to be proficient in Cantonese and Putonghua. However, it is very strange for the government to set PMIC (Putonghua as the medium of instruction for teaching the Chinese Language Subject) as a long-term target, bearing in mind that PMIC differs from CMIC (Cantonese as the medium of instruction for teaching the Chinese Language Subject) only in form and that PMIC itself is not a target. While saying that the government respects the professional decisions of schools and allows schools to decide whether to use CMIC (plus the subject of Putonghua) or PMIC, the government sets PMIC as a long-term target. Obviously, this is an attempt to influence the choice of schools and parents.

Quite a number of research reports have pointed out that PMIC, which has been implemented for years, does not offer any obvious advantage to students in the learning of the Chinese Language. The latest report on a study conducted by the Education University of Hong Kong comes up with, as announced by Education Bureau, the same conclusion.

The scheme to support schools in using PMIC, while having cumulatively cost us $200 million, has not been able to provide any obvious advantage. Why then does the Education Bureau insist on having PMIC as a long-term target and interfere with professional decisions through administrative means?

Therefore, at a meeting of Legislative Council’s Panel on Education in July, I moved a motion urging the government to stop having PMIC as a long-term target, so as to allow schools to, once again, make professional decisions themselves. The motion was passed and now represents the position of the Panel on Education. While the motion is not binding on the government, the view of the public so expressed is something which the government cannot and should not avoid dealing with.

2016-07-02 Meeting of the Panel on Education of the Legislative Council
IP Kin-yuen: Urging the government to cancel ‘teaching Chinese in Mandarin’ as long-term target (Video)

Further to the three brochures (‘A Focus on Post-Secondary Education’, ‘A Focus on Secondary and Primary Education’ and ‘A Focus on Early Childhood Education’) published earlier, I have issued a work progress report covering the major tasks I have done in my four-year tenure as a Legislative Councillor. Printed copies of these publications have been posted to school members. Your comments on the publications would be very much appreciated. They would help me to make improvements in my work.

Findings of an opinion survey on the Secretary for Education and on education issues published Legislative Council approved pay adjustment for civil servants
Meeting with the Review Panel on University Governance of HKU Snapshots Speeches

Findings of an opinion survey on the Secretary for Education and on education issues published

To better understand and reflect the opinions of teachers and the general public on education issues and on the Secretary for Education, I commissioned in May 2016 HKU’s Public Opinion Programme to conduct an opinion survey.

Findings of the survey clearly indicate that respondents, irrespective of whether they were members of the public or teachers, considered that teachers in Hong Kong were under very serious pressure. These two groups of respondents allotted a median score of 8 on a scale of 10 (with 10 being the most serious). As regards their assessment of the performance of the Secretary for Education in terms of education policies and allocation of resources, he was below the passing mark in respect of all individual items, generally scoring an average of 2 to 3 marks (out of a total of 10 marks). On the question of whether Mr Eddie NG Hak-kim should serve another term as the Secretary for Education, as many as 75% of the public – with abstentions excluded – voted for Mr NG’s dismissal. This figure was even much higher among teachers: 94%.

At the press conferences on 26 June and 8 July, I proposed quite a number of concrete education policies and urged the authorities to pay proper attention to the heavy work pressure on our teachers and to the demands of the education sector.


Legislative Council approved pay adjustment for civil servants

Earlier on, it was rumoured that the government would put the ‘pay adjustment for civil servants 2016-2017’ below the ‘Belt and Road Scholarship Scheme’ on Legislative Council’s agenda. At a meeting of the Council, I urged the authorities to, soonest possible, deal with the pay adjustment for civil servants. Eventually, the Finance Committee of the Legislative Council passed on 20 June the motion on pay adjustment for civil servants (including teachers in subvented organisations), dating back to 1 April this year. At the same time, the government decided not to submit to the Finance Committee of the current Legislative Council its proposal to inject funding into the Belt and Road Scholarship Scheme. I welcome these moves on the part of the government, which are in line with the views of the public. In future, the government should, I believe, adequately consult Legislative Councillors and members of the public before submissions are made to the Legislative Council.

Meeting of the Panel on Public Services of the Legislative Council
IP Kin-yuen: Immediate action for the pay adjustment for civil servant


Meeting with the Review Panel on University Governance of HKU


On 22 June, I met with the 3 members of the Review Panel on University Governance of HKU. I think that after the crisis last year, HKU should overcome problems from the system to rebuild mutual trust. There should be a proper distance between the government and the university, therefore the role of the Chief Executive as the Chancellor of the university should come with restrictions. The power of appointing members of the Council should be cancelled in order to safeguard institutional autonomy and to prevent the university from government intervention. These suggestions are coincidently given in the recent report by the University Grants Committee, and are supported by many of the citizens and stakeholders of HKU. Related parts of the university ordinance should also be amended accordingly. The report from the review panel is expected to be completed in half a year.


Meeting with a delegation of Speakers of Myanmar’s local parliaments

At a meeting on 20 June with a delegation of Speakers of Myanmar’s local parliaments, I explained in detail the work flow of Hong Kong’s Legislative Council in examining and approving government expenses. In return, they told me about major education policies personally overseen by Aung San Suu Kyi. We had a useful exchange and learned much from each other.

Visiting PolyU’s House of Innovation

On 27 June, I visited the House of Innovation of the Hong Kong Polytechnic University. Displayed inside the glasshouse were items of innovation and scientific research and development in the fields of textiles, design, engineering, space technology, etc. Thanks to the briefing by the Assistant Director of PolyU’s Institute for Entrepreneurship, I picked up much knowledge in science.

Receiving representatives from the Hong Kong Association for Specific Learning Disabilities

On 28 June, I met with representatives of the Hong Kong Association for Specific Learning Disabilities in the Public Complaints Office of the Legislative Council. I listened to their requests relating to the kinds of support needed by students with specific learning disabilities. For the success of our integrated education, what is even more important than putting in resources is a good teaching environment and adequate professional support. I will continue to urge the Education Bureau to improve policies on integrated education and to promote equal opportunities for students with learning disabilities.

Receiving a guided tour to Legislative Council

On 29 June, I hosted a reception for a group of secondary school students visiting the Legislative Council. We had a mock Legislative Council meeting. Playing the role of Legislative Councillors, some students put questions relating to the safety of school premises to the student playing the Secretary for Education. They all acted as if they were real Legislative Councillors and government officials.


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