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2020.1.20

Twenty thousand teachers attended
a rally to strenuously fight against white terror

Dear Members,

 

While the political turmoil emanating from the Anti-Extradition Bill incident has yet to subside, the Government and some people in the pro-establishment camp have been pointing an accusing finger at the education sector, putting the blame on teachers failing to teach Liberal Studies properly and generating rumours of teachers inciting young people to take to the streets, and convicting, even before trial, teachers complained against of professional misconduct. Through various kinds of unreasonable suppressions, they blame the education sector for the political incidents, making it a scapegoat for the political turmoil.

Funding appropriations to universities blocked by the Government and pro-establishment people; further threats from EDB

Since the fierce conflicts between the police and the public on the campus of a number of universities in November last year, the Government has twice withdrawn funding appropriation applications for teaching facilities projects for PolyU, CUHK and HKU, the professed reason being that some members ‘have expressed concern’ over the projects. This is an absolutely clear reflection of the Government and the pro-establishment camp attempting to use funding as a political bargaining chip to shape up the education sector, seriously interfering with education professionalism and the autonomy of tertiary institutions.

Earlier on, Secretary for Education YEUNG Yun-hung had also stated that cases of those arrested and cases of those complained against would be more stringently followed up and that pressure on schools would be more highly profiled, adding that if schools and principals concerned offered support to teachers under investigation, the principals could be disqualified.

Twenty thousand teachers attended a rally to strenuously fight against white terror

If the education sector loses ground, the autonomy of the education profession will be eroded and students will be affected generation after generation. To express our fury, HKPTU staged a teachers’ rally to convey to the community the education sector’s determination to strenuously oppose white terror and to steadfastly uphold the professionalism of teachers. The rally gathered about 20,000 participants, an impressive turnout.

The more difficult the days are, the more united we need to be! I hope that all fellow-workers, will, while defending teaching professionalism, care for and support teachers and principals around us who are affected. I also call on fellow-workers to support the ‘HKPTU Legal and Emergency Assistance Fund’ mentioned below, so as to assist teachers affected.

Twenty thousand teachers attended a rally to strenuously fight against white terror
HKPTU Legal and Emergency Assistance Fund Expedite school improvement works
On-the-spot observation of presidential selection in Taiwan Snapshots Speeches

HKPTU Legal and Emergency Assistance Fund

Since the Anti-Extradition Bill incident in June last year, the education sector has repeatedly been subjected to suppression by the Government and the pro-establishment camp. HKPTU announced on 8 January the establishment of the ‘HKPTU Legal and Emergency Assistance Fund’ (hereinafter referred to as the Fund) to raise money from the public so as to provide legal assistance and emergency financial assistance to those teachers who are affected.

The Fund will assist those members in urgent need of financial assistance who have been suspended or dismissed from their job, or de-registered from their profession after being arrested, complained against or prosecuted for participating in public activities, airing their views, getting involved in management-labour disputes and in controversies arising from their engagement in educational or teaching work and whose suspension, dismissal or de-registration constitutes gross injustice to members. The Fund will also support members in litigation proceedings they bring against gross injustice encountered in their career.

HKPTU will set up a management committee to manage the operation of the Fund and will also inject some capital into the Fund. We would urge all those who are engaged in education to demonstrate the spirit of mutual assistance and to care for and support teachers and principals around us.

HKPTU Legal and Emergency Assistance Fund 

Bank Account Number: 788-006021-001 (Hang Seng Bank) FPS (Faster Payment System) ID Number: 9042557 Cheques should be made payable to “Hong Kong Professional Teachers’ Union” Ways of making contribution: bank transfers,

FPS, bank deposits through electronic cheques, sending or delivering cheques to Contribution Collection Boxes at HKPTU’s service centres in Mongkok and Causeway Bay.

Expedite school improvement works

Many schools in Hong Kong are still in lack of basic facilities and have to operate in conditions in which ‘facilities fail to comply with standards’

In connection with documents on partial reconstruction and alteration works in Hong Kong Chinese Women's Club College, I went, earlier on, to the College to have an on-the-spot understanding of the situation. The College still does not, as shown in documents provided by the Government, have sufficient standard facilities such as classrooms, a language room and a vice-principal’s room, despite having benefited from Stage IV of the School Improvement Programme (SIP).

Therefore, I support funding approval soonest possible so as to enable schools to improve their environment at an early date. At the same time, I will keep pressing the Government to expedite efforts to improve schools with sub-standard facilities. When considering requests from schools for reconstruction or addition of standard facilities, the Government should not take into account whether or not a school has earlier taken part in the School Improvement Programme (SIP). Rather, the Government should consider whether the existing facilities of a school meet relevant standards and satisfy the teaching needs of the school, and strive to provide it with necessary facilities.

On-the-spot observation of presidential selection in Taiwan

This year, I went to Taiwan to observe the election of the 15th President and Vice President as well as the election of members of the 10th Legislative Yuan. For a better understanding of how Taiwan actually carries out democratic elections, I visited the election headquarters of various political parties, observed promotional rallies and took part in exchanges and forums. This round of elections was launched in the wake of opposition in Hong Kong to proposed amendments to its Fugitive Offenders Ordinance. Such opposition in Hong Kong has far-reaching implications and is considered, by some commentators, to have indirectly influenced the outcome of Taiwan’s presidential election.

We look forward to Hong Kong democratically implementing, soonest possible, universal suffrage for the Chief Executive and the Legislative Council, so as to enable people in Hong Kong to have a fair and equitable election system. The photo was taken in the election headquarters of JIANG Wan-an (Kuomintang), who was running to be a Legislator of Taiwan’s Legislative Yuan. It was the penultimate day before the election. JIANG eventually won the election by a narrow margin.

Listen to the voice of young people
because they are our future masters

Upon invitation, I appeared in a video programme of Hong Kong 01’s ‘Invisible Hong Kong’(chinese program). In the programme, I pointed out that in the Anti-Extradition Bill incident, the Government made the education sector a scapegoat, resulting in the sector now facing impacts of various kinds.

Talking about our young people, who will be Hong Kong’s future masters, I drew attention to these questions: Has the community already paid attention to their voice? How can we rebuild their confidence in the future?

Attending a service in remembrance
of Mr SZETO Wah

Attending an annual service in remembrance of Mr SZETO Wah this year, I recalled what Uncle Wah had written down in a book entitled ‘望斷天涯’: “Right from the beginning, I know that I do not have the ability to achieve prodigious knowledge or a spectacular career. Nor do I have an aspiration to do so. The only thing that I have is a small ideal: the purpose of living one’s life is to bring joy and happiness to others while at the same time, one experiences life’s comforting.

These words become even more precious when they are revisited today. It is my wish that Hong Kong’s democracy and justice will emerge triumphant!

Attending a funeral service honouring
Principal HO Moon-tim

It was with a heavy heart that I attended the funeral service in honour of principal HO Moon-tim, where guests-of-honour delivered eulogies recalling the very close relationship he had with students and his advocacy not only of students’ academic performance but also of their health, over which he showed great care and concern …

The premature demise of a good principal who taught through words as well as through his own deeds is most unfortunate but his nobility, steadfastness, righteousness and selflessness will stay in our heart forever. Principal HO, I will always miss you!

The parade on New Year's Day

On the first day of the year 2020, HKPTU again took to the streets to speak to the Government on behalf of the education sector: We will be even more united in protecting our profession and in steadfastly fighting against white terror.

We would urge the Government to rein back the horse right before the brink of the precipice, to stop shifting the blame for social problems to the education sector and to, soonest possible, squarely face the opinions of the public and to resolve political problems with political solutions. Only then will Hong Kong truly find its way out.

8 January 2020 Council meeting
Government’s measures to support schools in tackling Wuhan unknown pneumonia

3 January 2020 Meeting of the Panel on Education
Criteria adopted by the Government in prioritizing fellowships for students of taught postgraduate programmes

3 January 2020 Meeting of the Panel on Education
Criteria adopted by the Government in carrying out improvement works in schools

Representative of Hong Kong Professional Teachersb Union
in Legislative Council,
Hon IP Kin-yuen
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