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2016.11.21

 

Urging the Government to include air-conditioning equipment as a standard teaching facility

Dear Members,


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
IP Kin-yuen:Urging the Government to include air-conditioning equipment as a standard teaching facility
(Video in English)

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].

Squarely facing actual problems encountered by the subject of Chinese History
Final report of Committee on Prevention of Student Suicides: highly regrettable The Government should not resume Primary 3 TSA
90% of our schools oppose the abolition of reading allowance Snapshots Speeches

Squarely facing actual problems encountered by the subject of Chinese History


On 16 November, the Legislative Council debated a motion moved by the Hon CHEUNG Kwok-kwan: ‘Requiring the teaching of Chinese history as an independent subject at junior secondary level’.I agree that the inclusion of Chinese history should be made as compulsory content in the junior secondary curriculum. However, the way in which Chinese history is taught, be it taught as an independent subject or as a subject merged with other disciplines, is something which should be left to the professional judgment of the education sector instead of being rigidly prescribed by LegCo or the authorities. This is to avoid school autonomy being interfered with. What is more important is that we should squarely face the actual problems encountered by the subject of Chinese History, such as insufficient teaching hours and the lack of specialized teaching. Hence, I moved an amendment to the Hon CHEUNG Kwok-kwan’s motion. Unfortunately, the motion as amended by me was in the end vetoed.

Here is my amendment:

“As the Administration is now conducting consultation on revising the curriculum of the subject of Chinese History at junior secondary level, and the revision of the curriculum contents is of utmost importance in enhancing students’ interest in the subject and upgrading the quality of teaching, this Council urges that the Government should, while conducting consultation, strictly uphold the principle of professionalism in education, comprehensively seek the views of schools and frontline teachers, and develop specialized teaching, so as to strengthen the effectiveness of teaching and learning; moreover, the Government should require the inclusion of Chinese history as compulsory contents in the junior secondary curriculum, and ensure that regardless of whether Chinese history is taught as an independent subject or in other modes (e.g. by making reference to schools on the Mainland and in Taiwan which cover Chinese history and world history in the curriculum contents of the subject of History), schools must designate sufficient teaching hours for the curriculum concerned, so as to reflect the status of Chinese history in secondary school education.”

16 Nov 2016  Meeting of  Legislative Council - Motion Debate
IP Kin-yuen:Squarely facing actual problems encountered by the subject of Chinese History
(Video in English)

Final report of Committee on Prevention of Student Suicides: highly regrettable

On 7 November, the Committee on Prevention of Student Suicides – appointed by EDB – submitted its final report. On the following day, HKPTU held a press conference and offered its response to the final report.

The final report repeatedly recommends strengthening communication and requiring schools to enhance existing measures but additional resources are extremely minimal. The report fails to make any concrete recommendations in two areas which are in urgent need of improvement: (a) the overall teaching and counselling staff resources; and (b) the pressure on students brought about by the education and examination system.

Quite a substantial portion of the final report has been used to deny any correlation between the education system and student suicides. Failure of the Committee’s recommendations to touch on the core the problem is, to HKPTU, extremely disappointing and regrettable.

The Government should not resume Primary 3 TSA

On 9 November, the Hong Kong Examinations and Assessment Authority published its ‘Report on Territory-wide System Assessment 2016’. My reading of the report is that the pilot scheme has failed to, as reflected in the report, bring out any positive results. Nor does the report look into negative problems such as students being subjected to much drilling and pressure. These negative problems will, it is believed, persist. There are, therefore, no reasonable arguments for the Government to comprehensively resume Primary 3 TSA.

90% of our schools oppose the abolition of reading allowance

All of a sudden, EDB abolished this year the ‘Extensive Reading Scheme’ Allowance, causing dissatisfaction among fellow workers. A questionnaire survey conducted by HKPTU reveals that as many as 90% of our schools are opposed to the abolition of the Scheme. And, more than 90% of the schools consider that EDB did not have sufficient consultation before making its decision to abolish the Scheme. HKPTU calls on the authorities to withdraw its decision and to refrain from curtailing again student-related resources and to re-establish a consultation system which is willing to extensively listen to and take on board views and opinions.

Addressing a bi-weekly assembly of CU’s New Asia College

On 31 October, I delivered a speech on ‘Hong Kong’s Higher Education and Academic Freedom’ at a bi-weekly assembly at New Asia College of the Chinese University of Hong Kong. I reminded students that academic freedom and institutional autonomy do not exist as a matter of course and urged students to continue to safeguard the core values of our academic institutions.

Raising objection to NPCSC’s Interpretation

On 2 November, I took part in a parade to express our strong objection to the interpretation made by the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress.

Hosting an educational tour to LegCo

On 10 November, I hosted a reception for a group of primary school students visiting the Legislative Council. I explained LegCo’s operation and answered questions raised by our visitors. Despite their small age and much to my pleasant surprise, they initiated a discussion of current issues including oath-taking by LegCo members and NPCSC’s interpretation!

Concerned over students committing suicide

Right before the Panel on Education had its meeting on 14 November, I received a petition letter from the Alliance for the Prevention of Student Suicides. Only by adopting a three-prong approach – reviewing the education system, increasing resources, and improving the overall situation of our teaching and counselling staff – can, I believe, the Government reduce the risk of students committing suicide.


10 Nov 2016
Meeting of Legislative Council
IP Kin-yuen:Abolishing the Mandatory Provident Fund offsetting mechanism

10 Nov 2016
Meeting of Legislative Council
IP Kin-yuen:An abnormal staff shake-up recently within ICAC should be investigated

14 Nov 2016
Meeting of  Panel on Education in Legislative Council
IP Kin-yuen:Urging the Government to provide sufficient subsidies for kindergartens


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)
通訊處:香港中區立法會道1號立法會綜合大樓919室
Corresponding Address:Room 919, Legislative Council Complex, 1 Legislative Council Road, Central, Hong Kong
電話 Tel. : 3468-7222 網址 Website:https://www.ipkinyuen.org.hk Facebook:https://www.facebook.com/ipkinyuen