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2018.7.31
葉建源議員每月通訊

 

New tobacco products will harm the future generation

Dear Members,

Summer has come, I hope you are enjoying your holiday. However, at this time of summer vacation, we would like to make a strong appeal to you for raising concerns over the new tobacco products that is a health threat to the younger generation.

As education workers, we are deeply concerned about the health issue of the next generation. It is a universal fact that smoking puts our lives at risk. Individuals, families and society have to bear the steep price of any single smoker. That is why there are actions around the globe to fight against the hazardous impact of smoking and hoping to ban tobacco products altogether in the future.

The number of smokers has been declining, however with the emergence of new tobacco products, there is a chance that the momentum will be reversed. The ‘e-cigarettes’ and ‘heat-not-burn cigarettes’ come in novel packaging and different flavors such as strawberries and chocolate. This is a misleading message to the public for believing the products are harmless. Co-workers reflected there are primary school students who mistaken e-cigarettes as toys and start smoking it out of curiosity. This is a reflection of the severity of the matter!

Three years ago, the government was planning to ban new tobacco products altogether. However the stance has changed recently and now the government is inclined to allow these products into the market and available for sale to the public. Local medical sector is extremely shocked and formed a group to voice their opposition. HKPTU also formed a special committee to organize a petition among the education sector to urge the government to enact laws to prohibit new tobacco products.

We have to prevent the younger generation from becoming smokers. We hereby call for our co-workers to learn more about the harm of new tobacco products. Take care of your students to see if they are lured into smoking new tobacco products unintentionally. We call for you to support the petition of putting a general ban on new tobacco products. Let’s protect the health of our future generation! (Please support this petition: https://goo.gl/forms/J4zlTBHG4J0Wj7Cn2)

If you have any questions or comments, please e-mail to [email protected], thank you! We hope Hong Kong will become a healthy and smoke-free society.

 

New tobacco products will harm the future generation
Response to consultation documents of Task Force on Review of Self-financing Post-secondary Education Press Conference: Survey of HKPTU — Expands staff establishment, better treatment for contract teachers
Meeting with the UK officials to follow up the delays in issuing UK visa to Hong Kong student Snapshots Speeches

Response to consultation documents of Task Force on Review of Self-financing Post-secondary Education


Earlier, the Task Force on Review of Self-financing Post-secondary Education (Task Force) released consultation documents to invite the public to share their opinions with the Task Force, my responses are as follows:

1. This review comes in timely and is meaningful. Currently, the development of self-financing post-secondary education is under threat due to the number of students of appropriate age is decreasing and general public questioning the credibility of associate degrees. This consultation is important as it can comb through the situation.

2. The Task Force brings breakthrough-opinions such as the view on self-finance education institution, the complementing nature between subsidized and self-finance sector, emphasizing the quality and features of an institution. More importantly, the Task Force suggests to unify the past regulating approaches, to develop a new regulating framework and to include the government in the framework to play a more significant part, twisting the current loose, market-driven situation where the government has no completed plans.

3. In self-financing post-secondary education sector, under the trend of the shrinking population of students of appropriate age, institutions face threats of remaining registered regardless of their performance.

I discussed the relevant agenda at the Panel on Education of Legco earlier. I think it will lead to a series of school closure if the authorities see the number of enrolment as the only indicator. Therefore we need to deliberate for the new regulating policy, put the benefits of students before us and ensure the variety of institutions.

Press Conference: Survey of HKPTU — Expands staff establishment, better treatment for contract teachers

Currently, the number of contract teachers from all primary and secondary schools is 5,800, accounting for 13% of the total number of teachers from all primary and secondary schools. The 3rd large-scaled survey regarding contract teachers and teaching assistants by HKPTU discovered the majority of contract teachers aged under 35 years old. They are highly educated and had received standard training as a teacher. However they are under a short-term contract and receive different pay for the same work as regular teachers. Even if their performance are outstanding, they will not know if their contracts will be renewed until the end of the academic year, hence the retention rate is incredibly low. Contract positions have become the common case in primary and secondary school. It has become a phenomenon, namely ‘structural exploitation', among the education sector. It has a long term harmful effect to the development of the education system. HKPTU has the following suggestions:

1. Continue to improve the teacher/student ratio, increase permanent teaching posts

2. Stabilize the school environment, suspend the reduction of staff establishment

3. Review on short-term allowance, turn it into current expenditure

4. The authorities should gather data in a systematic manner to gain complete knowledge of manpower needs of schools

5. Schools should value and treat young teachers better to retain talents

Meeting with the UK officials to follow up the delays in issuing UK visa to Hong Kong student

Last September, thousands of Hong Kong students were unable to go to the UK as scheduled for their study due to the delays in issuing student visas. I have been following up with the UK authorities for updates on the incident. On 24 July, I met with Ms Dominique Hardy, the Regional Director of Asia Pacific area stationed in Beijing, and Mr. Daniel Hill, the Regional Operations Manager stationed in Manila, from the UK authorities again to learn about updates on this year’s visa approval process.

Both of the officials said that this year the visas will be processed in Manila, the Philippines. Since its peak season in June, the process has been running smoothly. The authorities have been updating the situation through social media platform and website of British Council and British Consulate-General. A new measure has taken effect: holders of Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Passport can apply for UK visas in other regions outside of Hong Kong. It will not be necessary for them to return to Hong Kong to process the application.

I am glad the UK Visas and Immigration draw on experience from last year and carry out specific measures to improve the visa application procedure. Hope there will not be another case of extensive delays like last year.

Music performance at the Legislative Council Complex

Earlier, a group of children from grass-root families in Tin Shui Wai came to the Legislative Council Complex to deliver a spectacular performance for the members and I am lucky to be one of the participants! The conductor of the group is the founder of Music for Our Young Foundation, Mr. Gordon Siu Kwing-chue. He has been teaching music in schools since the 1960s. After his retirement from public service, he began teaching children from grass-root families in Tin Shui Wai around ten years ago, to help children growing up with a happy childhood under the influence of music.

Meeting with principals from Southern District primary schools

On 18 July, I met with principals from Southern District primary schools. We had deep discussions including a series of issues such as Small Class Teaching, professional development of teachers and population planning. I am grateful for the valued opinions from them for allowing me to understand the distinguish features of schools in Southern District and provide me with important reference to draft suggestions for the upcoming Policy Address.

Subcommittee of Legco visits Castle Peak Bay Immigration Centre

Subcommittee to Follow Up Issues Relating to the Unified Screening Mechanism for Non-refoulement Claims of Legco organized a visit for me and a few fellow Legco Councillors to Castle Peak Bay Immigration Centre (the Centre) to gain an understanding of the facilities and operation of the Centre. Representatives from the Immigration Department gave us an introduction of the operation and management of the Centre. Later, with the company of representatives of the Security Bureau, we observed the dormitory facilities, special units, anti-riot equipment, sickbay, visit room, dayrooms and exercise yard of the Centre.

 

Meeting with a Congressman and Consul-General of Argentina

Last week I had a meeting with Mr. Alejandro Grandinetti, a Congressman of the National Congress and Mr. Gustavo Fazzari, Consul-General of Argentina. Mr. Grandinetti raised questions related to Hong Kong and expressed the interest in strengthening the economic and cultural ties between Argentina, Hong Kong and Mainland China. In the short 45 minutes of our meeting, we had a delightful and meaningful exchange.

16 July 2018: Panel on Constitutional Affairs
Concerns about government’s support on admission measures of ethnic minorities

16 July 2018: Finance Committee
Support raise in civil servants’ pay, government should list agenda with the order of ‘easier issues first’

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)
通訊處:香港中區立法會道1號立法會綜合大樓919室
Corresponding Address: Room 919, Legislative Council Complex, 1 Legislative Council Road, Central, Hong Kong
電話 Tel.: 3468-7222 網址 Website: https://www.ipkinyuen.org.hk Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ipkinyuen