Government announces measures on new resources for quality education
The Government today (July 5) announced a package of new measures to address some of the resource issues in the education sector and enhance education quality.
Announcing the details of the measures at a press conference, the Secretary for Education, Mr Kevin Yeung, said, "The Government attaches great importance to education. In her election manifesto, noting some of the resource issues in the education sector, the Chief Executive pledged to increase recurrent expenditure on education by $5 billion a year.
"The Chief Executive has met with different stakeholders in the education sector and listened to their views. My colleagues at the Education Bureau and I have consolidated the views and come up with a package of priority measures to be implemented in the 2017/18 academic/school year."
Mr Yeung said that the new measures were drawn up with the collective wisdom of stakeholders of the education sector. He hoped to continue to implement the measures together with the stakeholders, creating a stable, caring, inspiring and satisfying teaching and learning environment as well as multiple development pathways for nurturing talents.
The new measures aim at addressing some of the resource issues in the education sector. They cover post-secondary, secondary, primary and kindergarten education and are estimated to cost some $3.6 billion annually. Details are as follows:
(i) provide a non-means-tested annual subsidy of $30,000 for eligible students pursuing full-time locally accredited local and non-local self-financing undergraduate (including top-up degree) programmes;
(ii) provide a non-means-tested annual subsidy of $5,000 for eligible students pursuing eligible undergraduate (including top-up degree) programmes in the Mainland;
Secondary and primary education
(iii) increase the teacher-to-class ratio for public sector primary and secondary schools (including special schools) by 0.1 across the board;
(iv) provide a recurrent cash grant to strengthen the staffing support in information technology (IT) for all public sector primary and secondary schools (including special schools);
(v) provide each public sector ordinary primary and secondary school with an additional teaching post to facilitate the assignment of a designated teacher to take up the role of special educational needs co-ordinator;
(vi) provide additional teaching staff, allied health staff and resources to enhance support for students in special schools;
(vii) provide for annual adjustment of the portion on teachers' salary in the subsidies under the Free Quality Kindergarten Education Policy in line with the annual civil service pay adjustment; and
(viii) extend the two-year tide-over grant (2017/18-2018/19) for three more years till the 2021/22 school year.
The package of initiatives would involve an additional recurrent funding of about $3.6 billion in a full year, as well as an additional non-recurrent funding of $714 million for extending the tide-over grant for kindergartens for an extra three school years. They would bring about an increase of over 3,200 permanent teacher posts and 87 allied health jobs in the education sector, as well as job opportunities for about 1,000 IT personnel.
"The immediate actions to increase recurrent expenditure in education represent only the first step of the fifth-term Government in improving education for our next generation. We will work with the education sector and continue to review and identify needs for further action in such areas as professional development of teachers, curriculums, assessment systems, vocational and professional education, post-secondary education and home-school co-operation," Mr Yeung said.
"We aim to seek funding approval from the Finance Committee before the close of the current Legislative Council session. Subject to funding approval, the initiatives, which generally represent the consensus among stakeholders on priority areas, could be implemented immediately in the 2017/18 academic/school year," he added.
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