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Massive changes in education policy over the past 2 years

Dear Members,

There have been a lot of changes in Hong Kong between 2016 and 2018. Along with some fellow Legco Councillors, we formed ‘The Professionals Guild’ with one of the aims to drive the Pro-Democracy Camp to run for the Election Committee, winning a historic result of over 300 seats. The result indirectly stopped Leung Chun-ying from re-election and alleviates the tension in our society.

During the election period of the new CE, HKPTU lobbied candidates to value our initiative on education policy. After Carrie Lam took office, she accepted a number of our suggestions on the education policy to resolve the pressing predicament of the education sector with a drastic increase in recurrent expense, including the reading subsidies that came afterwards. The above measures are welcome. However it does not indicate our education policy has taken the high road. For example, the aftermath from the Primary 3 Territory-wide System Assessment (TSA) and the loopholes from the "one school social worker for each school" policy reflect the authorities have been neglecting the views of front line teachers which is unacceptable. Also I simply cannot support the Budget as a provision was set aside without a concrete plan. Nevertheless, I will uphold the value of ‘call a spade a spade’, keep fighting to enhance the education policy and the democratization of the political system.

Last September I handled over 1,100 cases of delays in issuing UK visa to Hong Kong students. The incident was quickly resolved after the discussion with the UK authorities. The UK authorities committed to a plan of improvement, hopefully the incident will not happen again.

Recently, I published ‘Work Report 2016-2018’ and ‘Report on the delays in issuing UK visa to Hong Kong student’. Please browse the reports on the internet. If you wish to get a printed copy, please send an email to [email protected] with your name, posting address and the report you are interested in and we will post the reports to you as soon as possible. Please leave us your comment after perusal.

Massive changes in education policy
over the past 2 years

Delays in issuing UK visa to Hong Kong student Rise in stress for all Primary 3 students participating in TSA meanwhile teachers should have the rights to participate in professional judgements
Forum: University is not a Business Snapshots Speeches

Delays in issuing UK visa to Hong Kong student

A large number of Hong Kong students were unable to go to the UK as scheduled for their study due to the delays in issuing student visas last summer. Some of their student status were once denied by their admitted university. Our office received and handled over 1,100 cases in a just few days.

A follow-up meeting with officials led by Mr. Simon Hayes from UK Visas and Immigration was arranged to reflect on the gravity of the matter and discuss measures for improvement. The UK authorities committed to closely monitor the issuing of visas this year, allocate more resources and bring in new technology to process the visa applications.

We are pleased to see the UK authorities reacted in a responsible and constructive manner and hope there will not be another incident of extensive delays. I appreciate the effort of Hongkong Post for their flexibility in handling this incident, including: opening extra service counters, setting up an enquiry hotline and speedy delivery on weekends to let thousands of students receive their visa as soon as possible.

Rise in stress for all Primary 3 students participating in TSA meanwhile teachers should have the rights to participate in professional judgements

Recently, HKPTU issued questionnaires to primary school teachers in the 3 core subjects: Chinese, English and Mathematics. The results indicated a general opposition against all Primary 3 students in the school to participate in TSA. Moreover, only 9.8% of the surveyed teachers stated their school would include all teachers’ opinion before reaching the decision of whether or not to opt for all Primary 3 students participating in TSA. Most of the decisions were made between the sponsoring body/management committee or by the principal.

The result of the questionnaire is very disappointing. The decision-making process gives the impression of the administration place themselves above professional opinion by crowding out teacher’s views. I think the Education Bureau should empower teachers to be involved in decision-making process regarding to school policy and enforce a stringent procedure so when it comes to issues such as Primary 3 TSA, teacher’s view will be collected through a structured consultation and will be respected.

Forum: University is not a Business

Recently, some of the teaching staff from universities are not offered a renewal of contract in a sudden which raised concerns among the education sector.

On 9 June, I co-hosted a forum with Applied Social Sciences Department from CityU, the Confederation of Tertiary Institutes Staff Unions, Progressive Scholars Group, Hong Kong Professional Teachers' Union, Hong Kong Confederation of Trade Unions and the office of Legco Councillor Au Nok-hin. The forum focused on pooling ideas for the betterment of the tertiary education scene regarding the instability of teaching positions, the ‘value research than teaching’ strategy and problems faced by University Grants Committee and management level of universities.

I particularly mentioned that the trend of chasing for international ranking has posed a great impact on universities. The international ranking system is a ‘business’ and it is becoming more diverse, for example: Young University Ranking, the ranking of the world's most international universities. The universities have been led by the nose by these ‘conducting batons’.

I am grateful for the sharing from guests and co-workers which allow us to have a more profound understanding of the issue. Today marks the start of our course to follow up on the issue and defend the interests of the co-workers in tertiary education.

Attend the graduation ceremony of Hong Kong 5-S Kindergarten & International Child Care Centre as the officiating guest

I attended the graduation ceremony of Hong Kong 5-S Kindergarten & International Child Care Centre on 11 June. The graduates prepared a musical for their parents and guests, guided us through their imaginative wonderland. I hereby wish the children a great future ahead in their primary school study and blessed with health and joy..

Introduction of legislative proposal on regulating electronic cigarettes and new tobacco products

Earlier I obtained the introduction of legislative proposal on regulating electronic cigarettes and new tobacco products. I learned that new tobacco products with novel packaging could make a breakthrough in the market of smokers and attract the younger generation to become smokers.

Dr. Jeff Lee Pui Man, head of Tobacco Control Office emphasized, according to the result obtained by the Government Laboratory, all heat-not-burn cigarettes contain addictive and carcinogenic substance such as nicotine and tar which are no less of a health risk than traditional cigarettes. The impact of these new tobacco products should not be overlooked.

Follow-up on the self-finance physiotherapy degree program commence in September

On 6 June, the representative from physiotherapy sector and I met with Fong Ngai, head of Healthcare Planning and Development Office of Food and Health Bureau again to follow up on the assessment process of the self-finance physiotherapy degree program commencing in September. We had honest exchange of views regarding the recognition and continuous quality assurance of the program. I particularly mentioned to Mr. Fong that views from the industry are vital to the improvement of professional autonomy and professional quality standard. I also noted him the current communication gap between the commission and the industry.

I look forward in the near future the authorities can give a clear account on the program assessment panel that will be established by the commission and continue to actively promote communication between the commission and the industry.


Lest we forget, the Tiananmen Square Protest

Since I became a member of the Legco, I have been attending the memorial for the Tiananmen Square Protest in Hong Kong Victoria Park every year. Not only to commemorate the brave departed spirits, but also help raising fund for The Hong Kong Alliance in Support of Patriotic Democratic Movements in China. I hope their work will pass on to the next generation and gradually move towards to the vindication of 4 June.

Every year at the memorial, I always meet old friends and come across with a lot of new faces. Many of them would give us a firm handshake, words of encouragement and contribute their donation then join the crowd. These people motivate us to carry on our cause.

14 June 2018 : Legislative Council meeting
Speaking time deprived while joint checkpoint plan passed hastily, the bill lacks lawfulness as concern remains

1 June 2018 : Panel on Education
Concern raised regarding to quality assessment of kindergarten caused increase in non-teaching work

1 June 2018 : Panel on Education
Government should increase the amount of Student Activities Support Fund

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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