CE re­veals plans to help stu­dents, teach­ers

China Daily (Hong Kong) - - FRONT PAGE - By WILLA WU in Hong Kong willa@chi­nadai­lyhk.com

Chief Ex­ec­u­tive Car­rie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor on Wed­nes­day an­nounced de­tails of the an­nual HK$5 bil­lion ex­tra re­cur­rent ex­pen­di­ture on ed­u­ca­tion — in­clud­ing sub­si­diz­ing stu­dents at self-fi­nanced ter­tiary in­sti­tu­tions, adding more per­ma­nent teacher posts and op­ti­miz­ing the sub­sidy to kinder­garten teach­ers.

Lam was de­liv­er­ing on her cam­paign prom­ise to in­ject fund­ing into the city’s ed­u­ca­tion sec­tor — on her third day in of­fice.

Speak­ing at her first ques­tion-and-an­swer ses­sion at the Leg­isla­tive Coun­cil, Lam noted that the plan, if ap­proved by Leg Co, would fi­nan­cially as­sist 39,000 stu­dents in the 2017-18 school year, bring an ad­di­tional 2,350 per­ma­nent posts for reg­u­lar teach­ers, and 840 per­ma­nent places for special-ed­u­ca­tion teach­ers.

The plan will cost HK$3.6 bil­lion of the pro­posed HK$5 bil­lion re­cur­rent ed­u­ca­tion spend­ing, the city’s new leader said.

Lam stressed that ed­u­ca­tion is the most ef­fec­tive method to en­hance so­cial mo­bil­ity. She hoped the Leg Co Fi­nance Com­mit­tee would ap­prove the fund­ing by the end of the cur­rent Leg Co year. Leg Cost arts its tor. three- month sum­mer re­cess later this month.

Lam, elab­o­rat­ing on gov­ern­ment sup­port to ter­tiary ed­u­ca­tion, noted that the gov­ern­ment would pro­vide a HK$30,000 sub­sidy to stu­dents who study at self-fi­nanced ter­tiary in­sti­tu­tions but man­age to qual­ify for un­der­grad­u­ate uni­ver­sity pro­grams in the Diploma of Sec­ondary Ed­u­ca­tion Ex­am­i­na­tion.

Cur­rently, the Ed­u­ca­tion Bu­reau pro­vides about 15,000 first-year first-de­gree places through the eight in­sti­tu­tions funded by the Uni­ver­sity Grants Com­mit­tee (UGC). The gov­ern­mentabout 1,000 stu­dentsalso sub­si­dizes­per year to pur­sue full-time lo­cal self-f nanc­ing un­der­grad­u­ate pro­gram­sun­der in the se­lected Study dis­ci­plinesSub­sidy Scheme for Des­ig­nated Pro­fes­sions/Sec­tors. Lam said there will be 52,000 sec­ondary school grad­u­ates in the 2017-18 school year. It is es­ti­mated about 6,600 of them will be­come the plan’s tar­get re cip­i­ents. Ed­u­ca­tion stake­hold­ers wel­comed Lam’s plan, say­ing it an­swered the ur­gent needs of the ed­u­ca­tion sec­tor but stress­ing that ed­u­ca­tion spend­ing should be con­tin­u­ous and sta­ble. Ho Hon-kuen, vet­eran his­tory teacher and vice-chair- man Con­ver­gence,schemes stu­dents by notof eas­ing­said only the their Ed­u­ca­tion­ben­e­fited sub­sidy fi­nan­cial bur­dens but also con­tri­bof both UGC-funded uni­ver­si­tions.ties and self-fi­nanced in­sti­tute ed­u­ca­tion,In sec­ondary Lam and pro­posed pri­ma­ryto in­crease the teacher-to-class ra­tio for public sec­tor pri­mary and sec­ondary schools (special schools in­cluded) by 0.1 across the board. This will give the city an ad­di­tional 2,350 per­ma­nent teach­ing posts. The gov­ern­ment would also pro­vide each public pri­mary and sec­ondary school with an ad­di­tional teach­ing post as the special ed­u­ca­tional needs co­or­di­na­tor. That will in­tro­duce 840 per­ma­nent teach­ing posts to the city.

ROY LIU / CHINA DAILY

Leg­is­la­tors stand en­ters the cham­ber for her first ques­tion-and-an­swer ses­sion at .

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