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What are the prerequisites for the next Secretary for Education?
The past four years or so was much wasted in respect of our education policies. A major reason for this was that the Chief Executive did not attach importance to education. Another major reason was that the Secretary for Education did not care much about education. In view of this, I moved, at the Legislative Council meeting on 15 December, a motion to discuss the ‘prerequisites for the next Secretary for Education’. This is a forward-looking issue which I hope the next Chief Executive will carefully consider.
There are at least, in my view, ten challenges which the next Secretary for Education must be capable to deal with:
1. Re-energize the entire education system, including the provision of recurrent financial support and minimization of unnecessary administrative interference.
2. Avoid, whilst nurturing care and concern for our community and country, partial politicization; and attach importance to nurturing comprehensive awareness and independent thinking.
3. Safeguard the tradition of institutional autonomy and academic freedom of higher education institutions and support the development of the institutions.
4. Attach importance to social equity, strengthen the public education system, and enhance the overall strength of schools.
5. Be people-based towards early childhood education and be patient in efforts to change the mindset of those parents who are obsessed with excessive competition.
6. Review curricular structures so as to enable senior secondary students to take up more elective courses and to free primary students of the agony of TSA.
7. Assist students with special needs and disadvantaged students so as to enable them to apply their talents and integrate into society.
8. Have good population planning and effectively help schools to have a stable environment for development so as to enable teachers to, once again, be focused on education and on their physical and mental health.
9. Attach importance to professional training, improve teacher-to-student ratios, and enable teachers to serve more energetically.
10. Ensure the leading position of Hong Kong's education system in the international arena.
Unfortunately, a motion proposed by the Hon CHEUNG Kwok-kwan of the Democratic Alliance for the Betterment and Progress of Hong Kong (DAB) to amend my original motion was passed with most of the contents of my original motion removed, resulting in a rather flabby version of the motion.
15 Dec 2016 Meeting of Legislative Council
I earnestly hope that the Government of the next term will be able to, for the post of Secretary for Education, find someone with integrity, a strong commitment to and a mission for education, willing to heed views, conversant with education policies and not shy of taking up responsibilities, so that education can return to the right track.
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: ‘Campus Appreciation’
Starting from November, the PTU News has introduced a brand new column: ‘Campus Appreciation’, dedicated to the sharing of stories about people and events worthy of recommendation to others. The second article, entitled ‘Ng Yuk Secondary School: A Learning Project: Cycling to a Colourful Life’, introduces Ng Yuk Secondary School’s cycling-round-the-island learning tour in Taiwan, in which education was provided through challenges in life and from which both teachers and students benefitted.
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