CE reveals plans to help students, teachers
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.
Legislators stand enters the chamber for her first question-and-answer session at .