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Education Policy in the Policy Address
Commending what is Right and Criticizing what is Wrong
A Motion of Thanks for the Policy Address was put to a vote in the Legislative Council on 10 November. In the spirit of ‘Commending what is right and Criticizing what is wrong’, I voted for the Motion.
Commending what is right
The new Administration has inherited from LEUNG Chun-ying a Hong Kong with unprecedented confrontation and torn apart by strife – and, with education in a mess. Following her assumption of responsibility as Chief Executive, Mrs LAM injected a recurrent expenditure of $3.6 billion as an emergency treatment of the most pressing problems in education. This has provided a new starting point for the education sector. The full communication and close co-operation between the Government and the education sector from March to June have achieved three breakthroughs: the Government attaching importance to the wisdom of the community, the Government conducting adequate consultation with the education sector and the Government making long-term commitments for Hong Kong’s education.
In the Policy Address, attention has been focused on post-secondary education with funds exceeding a total of $20 billion for use in three areas: injecting funds into the Research Fund, building student hostels and waiving tuition fees for local students attending post-graduate research programmes. While the funds are of a one-off nature, they are of great significance to the development of post-secondary education.
Criticizing what is wrong
However, the Policy Address is silent on many pressing problems which are still with us at secondary, primary and kindergarten education levels. What needs to be done include further improvement of the establishment of teachers, further enhancement of the proportion of teachers holding university degrees, the creation of a pay scale for kindergarten teachers, and improvement of the salary structures of primary school principals and teachers. As regards long-term commitments, there is an obvious decline and there are no traces of the balance of at least $1.4 billion.
Actively offering advice
Let me reiterate my approach towards Mrs LAM and her Administration: ‘Commending what is right, criticizing what is wrong, actively offering advice and making suggestions’. I hope that the Government will, in the years ahead, maintain its momentum in improving Hong Kong’s education. On my part, I will continue to offer advice. For the coming five years, our education policy should consist of these two steps: first, we should consolidate our system and inject adequate resources, i.e. ‘recuperation and consolidation’; and then, develop fully, enhance piloting by education professionalism, and fully realize the potential of education, with the aim of developing Hong Kong’s public education system into one of the world’s quality education systems and bringing well-being to our next generation.
I would appreciate any views that you may have. They could be emailed to me at [email protected]Full text of IP Kin-yuen’s speech : Video clip on the Motion of Thanks for Policy Address 2017 (9 November 2017)
Representative of Hong Kong Professional Teachers’ Union
in Legislative Council,
Hon IP Kin-yuen
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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