CE’s new ed­u­ca­tion plans re­ceive widespread sup­port

China Daily (Hong Kong) - - TOP NEWS - By CAR­RIE QIU in Hong Kong car­rieqiu@chi­nadai­lyhk.com

Chief Ex­ec­u­tive Car­rie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor’s newly an­nounced plan al­lo­cat­ing an ex­tra HK$3.6 bil­lion a year for ed­u­ca­tion has gained con­sid­er­able back­ing from var­i­ous stake­hold­ers in Hong Kong.

Chair­man of the Hong Kong Fed­er­a­tion of Ed­u­ca­tion Work­ers Wong Kwan-yu told a lo­cal ra­dio pro­gram on Thurs­day that Lam has been able to reach agree­ment with dif­fer­ent groups over her ed­u­ca­tion fund­ing pro­pos­als. This im­pres­sive achieve­ment will be one of her first acts of govern­ment.

Wong said that un­like lump-sum ed­u­ca­tion ex­pen­di­ture in the past, Lam’s re­cur­rent ex­pen­di­ture is a break­through in the area of pub­lic fi­nan­cial man­age­ment. It will also ben­e­fit the ed­u­ca­tion sec­tor in the longterm.

The Hong Kong Pro­fes­sional Teach­ers’ Union (PTU) said on Thurs­day the pol­icy was a sign of “sub­stan­tial progress”.

Ip Kin-yuen, vice-pres­i­dent of the PTU and ed­u­ca­tion sec­tor law­maker, told a me­dia brief­ing that the HK$30,000 an­nual sub­sidy to stu­dents at self-fi­nanced ter­tiary in­sti­tu­tions would Inside re­sult in ments”.

“It will not only re­move the bur­den of stu­dent-loans on stu­dents, but also the bur­den on their par­ents,” Ip noted.

An­other PTU rep­re­sen­ta­tive said the ad­di­tional 2,350 per­ma­nent teach­ing posts in se­condary and pri­mary schools was also a good move. It aims to in­crease the teacher-to-class ra­tio for pub­lic pri­mary and se­condary schools.

The PTU urged the Leg­isla- “solid im­prove- tive Coun­cil to ap­prove the ex­pen­di­ture pro­posal soon. This is so fund­ing can be put to use be­fore the up­com­ing aca­demic year in Septem­ber.

Ip re­vealed that the pro­posal had gained sup­port from across the po­lit­i­cal spec­trum in LegCo.

The pro­posal will be dis­cussed next Mon­day in LegCo’s Panel on Ed­u­ca­tion. Once ap­proved, it will be passed to the Fi­nance Com­mit­tee for fund­ing ap­proval next Friday at the ear­li­est. Ip ex­pects that — backed by law­mak­ers from var­i­ous par­ties — the pro­posal will be passed next Friday.

The CE an­nounced the new ed­u­ca­tion ex­pen­di­ture on Wed­nes­day. This in­cludes a sub­sidy for stu­dents at self­fi­nanced ter­tiary in­sti­tu­tions and ad­di­tional per­ma­nent teacher posts in se­condary and pri­mary schools.

The al­lo­cated HK$3.6 bil­lion is part of Lam’s ex­tra HK$5 bil­lion of an­nual re­cur­rent ex­pen­di­ture on ed­u­ca­tion. This had been promised dur­ing her elec­tion cam­paign.

Lam stressed at a me­dia brief­ing on Thurs­day that the HK$30,000 an­nual sub­sidy to stu­dents had no up­per limit. Any­one who ful­fills univer­sity en­try re­quire­ments and en­rolls in self-fi­nanced ter­tiary in­sti­tu­tions will re­ceive the sub­sidy.

Un­like lump-sum ed­u­ca­tion ex­pen­di­ture in the past, Lam’s re­cur­rent ex­pen­di­ture is a break­through in the area of pub­lic fi­nan­cial man­age­ment.” Wong Kwan-yu, chair­man of the Hong Kong Fed­er­a­tion of Ed­u­ca­tion Work­ers Comment

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