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2017.04.26

 

How to Make the Best Use of

the Additional $5 Billion promised for Education?

Dear Members,


Chief Executive-designate, Mrs Carrie LAM CHENG Yuet-ngor, has in her election campaign promised to increase Government’s recurrent expenditure on education by $5 billion per year.

Having consolidated the views of various quarters, PTU held a press conference on 20 April and highlighted four major areas which deserve priority treatment: stabilizing teaching staff, enhancing caring for students, improving teaching conditions, and respecting teachers’ qualifications. Some of the items in these areas are particularly pressing and necessitate the incoming government planning in advance before it assumes office. PTU’s concrete proposals are tabulated below.

The most pressing items which should hopefully be accomplished immediately upon the new Government assuming office (2017)

an initial increase of recurrent expenditure by $5 billion per year

Additional expenditure per year

Priority items
which should hopefully be accomplished within one year of the new government assuming office (2017-18)

continuous increases of recurrent expenditure, with an increase of $5 - $10 billion in the second year

Additional expenditure per year

Improving class-teacher ratios so as to absorb existing contract teachers (currently not on establishment) as regular teachers (2,540 teachers in secondary schools and 1,650 teachers in primary schools)

$720 million

Improving class-teacher ratios (1:1.8 for primary classes, 1:2.0 for junior secondary classes and 1:2.3 for senior secondary classes)

To be calculated

Freezing the number of Secondary 1 classes and preserving teachers’ establishment

modest

Small-class teaching in secondary schools

$550 million

Establishing a pay scale for kindergarten teachers

modest

Reducing the number of students per class in special schools

$350 million

Increasing transition period allowance for kindergarten teachers so as to retain experienced teachers

modest

Improving staffing resources in kindergartens

To be calculated

Adding one special educational needs coordinating teacher for kindergartens

$260 million

Establishing IT Coordinator posts

$300 million

Increasing the number of social workers and counselling teachers in primary schools

$466 million

Reviewing the establishment structure and pay scale of primary schools and special needs schools

To be calculated

Making SENCO a regular feature in secondary and primary schools

$808 million

Improving hardware facilities in sub-standard schools

$800 million

Subsidizing Bachelor degree students in self-financing institutions

$750 million

 

 

Converting qualified CM to GM or APSM in secondary and primary schools

$1,236 million

 

 

Total

Not less than $4 billion

 

 


Furthermore, we believe that the Government should henceforth continue to increase recurrent expenditure on education so as to catch up with the average level of expenditure of developed countries. PTU and I shall continue to have discussions with Chief Executive-designate Carrie LAM. We hope that she will be able to accept our proposals and perfect policies on education. Your views on policy implementation by the new Government would be most welcome. They could be emailed to [email protected].

How to Make the Best Use of the Additional $5 Billion promised for Education?
Opposition to Primary 3 TSA from cross-party Legislative Councillors Problems encountered by schools and social welfare organisations operating in housing estates under the Tenant Purchase Scheme (TPS)
Urging HKU to publicize Review Panel’s report on university governance and conduct public consultations Snapshots Speeches

Opposition to Primary 3 TSA from cross-party Legislative Councillors


Earlier on, cross-party Legislative Councillors held a press conference and requested the Government to shelve TSA/BCA or to let schools and parents decide whether or not for their children to take part in the assessment.

On 10 April, LegCo’s Panel on Education had a meeting to discuss BCA. Before the start of the meeting, Legislative Councillors from various political parties received petitions from organisations of parents and supported their aspirations.

Unfortunately, without prior consultation with Members, the Panel’s Chairwoman, Dr Hon CHIANG Lai-wan, allowed the Government to invite 23 unofficial persons to participate in the meeting and speak, which caused dissatisfaction among Members and the truncation of the meeting.

Following a number of endeavours, the Panel on Education will hold a public hearing on BCA on 8 May. You are most welcome to register and attend or let us have your written comments. For details, please click here.

Follow-up actions on problems encountered by schools and social welfare organisations operating in housing estates under the Tenant Purchase Scheme (TPS)

Earlier on, a number of schools and social welfare organisations reflected to me and the Hon SHIU Ka-chun that the Owners' corporations and property management companies in housing estates under the Tenant Purchase Scheme (TPS) deliberately made things difficult for them, such as requiring them to take out insurance to cover the use of basketball courts and forbidding schools located on the G/F from opening their windows. These requirements seriously affect the normal operations of schools and social welfare organisations.


In this connection, the Hon SHIU Ka-chun and I have, on several occasions, written to relevant Government Departments asking them to take follow-up actions. In addition, I raised a written question at the Legislative Council meeting on 12 April asking the Government to explain relevant policies.

With considerable ownership of rented housing estates, the Housing Authority has the necessary clout to deal with property management companies’ unreasonable ways of management but the authorities claim that representatives of the Housing Department would try to remain neutral at property owners' meetings and at management committee meetings. This, however, practically amounts to turning a blind eye to property management companies’ nasty ways of management. I will continue to follow up on the issue and ensure that schools and social welfare organisations operating in housing estates under the TPS are able to make legitimate use of estate resources.

Urging HKU to publicize Review Panel’s report on university governance and conduct public consultations

On 28 February, the University Council considered the Report of the Review Panel on University Governance authored by Professor Sir Malcolm Grant and Professor William Kirby as well as the Addendum from Mr Peter Van Tu Nguyen and decided to establish a Working Group to follow up on the Report. However, the Council did not, contrary to established practice, publicize the Report nor consult stakeholders.

In my capacity as the Convenor of HKU Alumni Concern Group and as a HKU Court Member, I wrote a letter to Dr Brian Stevenson, Chairman of the Working Group on the Report of the Review Panel on University Governance, seeking an appointment with him to discuss the work schedule of the Working Group and to reflect alumni’s views.

Earlier on, I had also written to Dr Stevenson urging the Working Group and HKU’s Council to, soonest possible, publicize the Review Panel’s Report and conduct extensive public consultations. In its reply on 27 March, the Working Group said that it was not within its remit to decide whether or not to publicize the Report but might consult relevant stakeholders as and when necessary.

PTU’s Forum on TSA

On 9 April, PTU organized a forum at which Professor TSANG Wing-kwong and Professor HAU Kit-tai were invited to share their views on TSA, so as to enable participants to understand the drawbacks of TSA policy implementation.

Meeting with US Congressmen

As Chairman of Legislative Council’s Parliamentary Liaison Subcommittee, I, together with 8 other Legislative Councillors, had a meeting with US Congressmen on 13 April to discuss political system and livelihood issues of Hong Kong.

Guided tour to the Legislative Council

On 13 April, I briefed a group of secondary school students on the operation of the Legislative Council. I invited them to act as Legislative Councillors and Government officials. They performed very well, especially the student playing the role of Secretary for Education, Eddie NG Hak-kim. His bureaucratic tone and views closely matched those of the Secretary!

Support for the prohibition of the sale and supply of alcoholic beverages to minors

The Government has recently proposed amending legislation so as to prohibit the sale and supply of alcoholic beverages to minors. I support the Government's proposal, which will alleviate the problem of alcohol abuse among our young people.

Finance Committee meeting held on 3 April 2017
Was the transfer of personal data by the Registration and Electoral Office conducted in accordance with relevant criteria?

Finance Committee meeting held on 7 April 2017
Eddie NG Hak-kim over-zealous in making overseas trips resulting in wastage of public money

Panel on Education meeting held on 10 April 2017
Open University of Hong Kong’s programmes: Loans and tuition fee adjustments

Legislative Council meeting held on 13 April 2017
Government’s apathy and indifference to the aspirations of the education sector!

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)
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