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Policy Address: We welcome the policies on education but will watch out for implementation details
It was a great honour to be elected on 11 October Chairman of the Panel on Education of the Legislative Council for the new Legislative Council year. I will uphold the spirit of ‘professionalism’ and ‘impartiality’. With support from all quarters, I hope to do a good job as Chairman.
The day before yesterday, Chief Executive Carrie LAM published the latest Policy Address. Of its education policies we have a positive evaluation. Most importantly, she has responded to the education sector’s aspirations over the years: all teaching posts in secondary/primary schools will become pegged at the GM/APSM level; school administration will be strengthened; research funding for universities will be substantially increased; new tobacco products are planned to be comprehensively banned …. All these are the achievements of sustained efforts of the education sector both within and outside the Legislative Council. Even though the journey has been long and arduous, it is gratifying that our efforts have eventually been rewarded with positive responses.
Having said that, we should, however, be cautious, bearing in mind, as the saying goes, ‘The devil is in the details’. The authorities should, soonest possible, clarify implementation details For example, failure to synchronize the pegging of all teaching posts of primary schools at the APSM level with an increase in the number of middle management posts would engender management confusion. Has the Government already planned to synchronize the two? The ‘Pilot Scheme on Social Work Service for Pre-primary Institutions’ provides another example: how many kindergarten students are to be served by a social worker? At a time when we are increasing resources for integration education, is it not even more deserving to retain the ‘supplementary plan’ for primary schools so as to enable headmasters to have access to what is needed? ... Each and every detail is pivotal and must be properly considered and clearly delineated. Otherwise, well-intentioned policies may end up in failures.
There are still quite a number of important items on which the Policy Address is completely silent such as a salary structure for kindergarten teachers, further improvements of teacher-to-class ratios in secondary and primary schools and measures to alleviate pressure on students. All these gaps should be filled as soon as possible.
On 2 November, I shall chair a meeting of the Panel on Education to discuss the education policies in the Policy Address. This will be followed by a 3-day debate on the entire Policy Address by the Legislative Council starting from 7 November. If you have any suggestions, you are most welcome to forward them to [email protected].
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)
Corresponding Address：Room 919, Legislative Council Complex, 1 Legislative Council Road, Central, Hong Kong