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Urging the Government to include air-conditioning equipment as a standard teaching facility
Air-conditioning equipment is, under the existing policy of the Education Bureau, not a standard teaching facility in government-funded schools. Except under special circumstances, schools themselves have to bear all the expenses for the installation, repair and maintenance of air-conditioning equipment as well as the cost of electricity. This situation is unacceptable. Nowadays, many schools have air-conditioning, but expenses for it are practically met through fund-raising and fee collection. Last year, I raised a written question in the Legislative Council. However, EDB refused to install air-conditioning equipment in schools, saying that ‘doing so was against the principle of environmental protection’. Aren’t government premises and EDB provided with air-conditioning? Isn’t it double standard selectively applying the principle of environmental protection?
In October this year, I conducted a questionnaire survey covering all government-funded secondary schools, primary schools and special education schools in Hong Kong on expenses incurred by schools on air-conditioning. Survey results are as follows:
• 100% of the schools consider that air-conditioning should be regarded as a standard teaching facility
• 97.9% of the schools consider that the government should bear the expenses of air-conditioning in assembly halls, covered playgrounds and dormitories of special education schools
• 98.9% of the schools consider that paying for the installation and replacement of air-conditioning equipment is a heavy financial burden on schools.
On 16 November, I raised an oral question at a Legislative Council meeting and urged EDB to include air-conditioning equipment as a standard teaching facility. However, EDB refused to install air-conditioning equipment for schools, arguing this time that doing so would ‘involve huge expenditure’; it did not deploy its earlier argument of ‘doing so was against the principle of environmental protection’. Shifting the responsibility to schools and parents is unacceptable. Also unacceptable is EDB’s refusal to answer my enquiry about the magnitude of the expenditure expected.
16 Nov 2016 Meeting of Legislative Council - Oral Question
In response to demands from the education sector, I will continue to urge the Government to bear expenses of the installation of air-conditioning equipment in Government-funded schools and all expenses arising therefrom. I hope that fellow workers will continue to keep track of my work and give me valuable feedback and advice, which could be emailed to [email protected] .
A brand new column in PTU News
Starting from November, the PTU News will bring in a brand new column: “Campus Appreciation” devoted to the sharing of stories about people and events worthy of recommendation to others. The first article, entitled "Chi King Roof-top Farm: Practising Value Education”, introduces the environmentally friendly farm of Buddhist Chi King Primary School. Not only does the farm enable students to plant vegetables, fruits and Chinese medicines, it also cultivates in students the correct values of life.
If you have stories about yourself or about others which you would recommend for inclusion in “Campus Appreciation”, you are most welcome to call 3468 7222 or email [email protected].
Representative of Hong Kong Professional Teachers’ Union
in Legislative Council,
Hon IP Kin-yuen
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‧For enquiry and feedback, please email to Office of Legislative Councillor IP Kin-yuen : [email protected]
葉建源議員辦事處 Office of Legislative Councillor Ip Kin Yuen (Education Constituency)
Corresponding Address：Room 919, Legislative Council Complex, 1 Legislative Council Road, Central, Hong Kong