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PTU’s Education Platform

taken on board by Chief Executive Candidates

Dear Members,

The Chief Executive election will be held on 26 March, the outcome of which will affect Hong Kong’s destiny in the coming five years, or even ten years!

Half a year ago, together with six other democratic Legislative Councillors, I established ‘Professionals Guild’. Under the banner of ‘Democracy 300+’, we co-ordinated the Election Committee election and achieved unprecedented success: democrats securing more than 300 seats, which compelled Chief Executive LEUNG Chun-ying abandoning his wish to seek re-election. Subsequently, through several rounds of co-ordination, we have successfully nominated and entered John TSANG Chun-wah and WOO Kwok-hing in the CE election race.

PTU has simultaneously succeeded in winning all the 30 seats in the Education Subsector and ‘Academics in Support of Democracy’ – formed with our allies – has also grabbed all the 30 seats of the Higher Education Subsector. We have had individual meetings with the four CE candidates and reflected to them the aspirations of the education sector over the years. All candidates have now attached importance to our aspirations: their political platforms and commitments during meetings with us have substantially taken on board our proposals, including:

• stabilizing the education system

• significantly increasing spending on education

• improving teachers’ establishment

• incorporating contract teachers as regular teachers

• establishing a pay scale for kindergarten teachers

• shelving or abolishing TSA

• helping students in self-financing institutions to lessen their tuition fee burden

On the above proposals, all the candidates have come up with rather concrete policies. For example, for spending on education, they have announced specific targets: spending to be pegged at 4-5% of our GDP and recurrent expenditure on education to be immediately increased by $5 billion. We are quite satisfied with the platforms and propositions in their education policies. Our next step is to assess their overall performance and, in the light of the views expressed by PTU members, eventually decide how we should cast our votes.

Shelving Primary 3 TSA

One of the achievements we have definitely secured is that all the four candidates have, after carefully listening to PTU’s views and those of the community, indicated that they will shelve Primary 3 TSA. Whoever wins the CE election, Primary 3 TSA will become history starting from next year. Our efforts over the past six years have eventually secured a clear-cut result!

There remains, however, some unfinished business to settle: EDB’s insistence on the full resumption of Primary 3 TSA in May or June this year. Insisting on a measure which will not be continued serves no useful purpose other than torturing teachers, parents and students. We would call on EDB to, in line with public opinion, stop organizing this year’s Primary 3 TSA so as to avoid inflicting suffering on our teachers and students in the coming few months. We are in the process of establishing an ‘Alliance against Resumption of Primary 3 TSA’ and will soon take our case to Chief Secretary for Administration Matthew CHEUNG Kin-chung direct.

The problem of Primary 3 TSA stems from EDB abusing assessment data, resulting in a distortion of our normal curriculum and teaching, and the generation of unnecessary pressure for drilling. We would like to appeal to all school sponsoring bodies, school councils, principals and teachers to shed the shackles of TSA soonest possible so that our curriculum and teaching can return to normal. Let our primary 3 students of this year, of next year and of all subsequent years grow up healthily.

I sincerely welcome fellow workers’ opinions, which could be emailed to [email protected]

The Budget is disappointing
Concern over the Selection of HKU’s Vice-Chancellor and University Governance Student suicides: Inter-Departmental Working Group needed
Strong objection to the comprehensive resumption of Primary 3 TSA Snapshots Speeches

The Budget is disappointing

Last week, the current government published its last Budget. On it, do you have any particular views?

Last December, I published a ‘Preview of Education Policies 2017’, in which I submitted to the government proposals for various policies on education and tax reductions. After Mr Paul CHAN Mo-po had taken up the post of Financial Secretary, I had a meeting with him focusing on three main policy expectations: improving teachers’ establishment, improving sub-standard school premises, and establishing a pay scale for kindergarten teachers. The Budget undertakes to reserve funding for improving the teaching environment of 26 matchbox schools in housing estates. This is a move that I welcome. At a meeting of LegCo’s Finance Committee held on 23 February (video), I again urged the government to ensure the availability of sufficient resources to improve the facilities of sub-standard school premises.

Separately, I am very much disappointed to note that the recurrent expenditure on education for the next academic year, set at $78.6 billion, accounts for only 21.2% of government’s total recurrent expenditure, which is the lowest ever since sovereignty over Hong Kong reverted to China (25% in the year 1997). While the government claims that it attaches importance to education, the ratios of recurrent expenditures on education to government’s total current expenditures have been declining over the years, which reflects the inadequacy of the current government’s commitment to education.

The Legislative Council will have a debate on the Budget. I sincerely welcome fellow workers’ opinions.

Concern over the Selection of HKU’s Vice-Chancellor and University Governance

At its meeting scheduled for 28 February, the Council of the University of Hong Kong discussed the selection of a new Vice-Chancellor and the report submitted by the Review Panel on University Governance. In this connection and in my capacities as a HKU Court Member and the Convenor of the HKU Alumni Concern Group, I held a press conference and urged the Council to ensure that the selection mechanism and selection criteria for the next Vice-Chancellor are transparent and credible and that staff, students, alumni and other stakeholders of the University are able to participate in the selection process so as to secure the best person for the job.

In a separate development, I also urged the Council to, in accordance to past practice, publish soonest possible the report submitted by the Review Panel on University Governance and conduct an extensive consultation on the report. If the information available recently is correct, the direction of reform suggested in the report is broadly the same as what I proposed in my consultation paper on ‘University of Hong Kong (Amendment) Bill 2017’.

Strong objection to the comprehensive resumption of Primary 3 TSA

On 26 January, PTU and Hong Kong Parents Alliance held a press conference to express objection to EDB forcing a comprehensive resumption of Primary 3 TSA. While euphemistically labeled differently, the so-called ‘Research Study’ is practically a compulsory examination. The change in name is not accompanied by a change in substance. PTU and Hong Kong Parents Alliance strongly request that the government retract its decision for a comprehensive resumption of Primary 3 TSA (or its new version), so as to return to schools a normal teaching environment and to students a happy childhood.


Student suicides: Inter-Departmental Working Group needed

By the spate of student suicide cases in recent months, I am deeply saddened and dismayed. Whatever reasons for these cases may be, the possibility of the education system being one of the reasons is irrefutable.

I will seek an appointment with Chief Secretary for Administration Matthew CHEUNG Kin-chung and propose setting up an inter-departmental working group so as to provide, soonest possible, our children with appropriate and effective support.

Attending a seminar on Language Policy and Social Integration

On 10 February, I attended a Language Policy and Social Integration Seminar organized by the Hong Kong Council of Social Service and had a useful discussion on policies relating to the education and employment of ethnic minorities as well as problems they encounter when studying Chinese as a second language.

Responding to reports of a traditional prestigious school intending to become a Direct Subsidy Scheme (DSS) school

Reportedly, Wah Yan College Hong Kong intends to become a Direct Subsidy Scheme (DSS) school. In response to this, I pointed out that before a school decided to become a DSS school, it should have sufficient consultations with stake-holders, including students, parents, teachers and alumni and that if more traditional prestigious schools were converted to DSS schools, this would further reduce the possibility of students from grass-root families entering traditional prestigious schools, which would lead to social injustice and disparity between the rich and the poor.

Hosting an education tour for students visiting LegCo

On 17 February, I hosted a reception for a group of primary school teachers and students from outlying islands and explained to them the functions of LegCo. We also had role-playing activities. The little Councillors proposed and discussed a motion to abolish both Primary 3 TSA and Primary 6 TSA. The motion was eventually passed by a majority vote.

Meeting a delegation from the Parliament of Indonesia

On 20 February, LegCo’s Parliamentary Liaison Subcommittee had a meeting with a delegation from the Parliament of Indonesia. Among the issues discussed were the working conditions of Indonesian domestic workers in Hong Kong.

13 February 2017 Panel on Education
Research indicates that Liberal Studies has not radicalized our students

17 February 2017 Legislative Council
Motion Debate: Motion of Thanks

Representative of Hong Kong Professional Teachers’ Union
in Legislative Council,
Hon IP Kin-yuen
HON IP KIN YUEN Newsletter :
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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)
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