CE’s new education plans receive widespread support
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