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LCQ15: Boarding service for students with physical disability


Following is a question by the Hon Emily Lau Wai-hing and a written reply by the Secretary for Education and Manpower, Professor Arthur K C Li, in the Legislative Council today (June 30):


Regarding the review of the policy to provide school boarding services for physically handicapped children conducted by the Education and Manpower Bureau, will the Executive Authorities inform this Council:

(1) of the review cycle and the criteria adopted in the review;

(2) of the date of the latest review conducted and its results, and whether such results have been made public; if not, the reasons for that; and

(3) whether they will consider inviting representatives of the relevant non-governmental organizations, district councils and parent associations to take part in the next review; if so, of the relevant arrangements; if not, the reasons for that?


Madam President,

(1) The Education and Manpower Bureau reviews the supply and demand of the boarding service for students with physical disability annually, and reviews the policy on this service on a need basis from time to time. The criteria of the review include:

(i) whether there is an adequate provision of boarding service under the existing policy on boarding service;

(ii) whether the boarding service is of quality and effective under the existing policy of boarding service; and

(iii) whether the policy is in line with other government policies.

(2) In September and October 2003, staff of the Bureau inspected the operation of the boarding section of special schools and collected relevant information from the schools thereafter. They briefed the relevant special schools on the findings of the observations and data analyzed in early-June 2004. The briefing mainly covered the time-slotting of boarding activities and manpower allocation. At the meeting, we also exchanged views on possible measures to improve the quality and cost-effectiveness of the boarding service.

Moreover, at present, there is a school sponsoring body that proposes to trial run a small-scale boarding section in a school for children with physical disability on a self-finance basis. The Bureau is now assisting the school sponsoring body in exploring the details of this pilot project, including

(i) whether conversion of part of the school premises into a small-scale boarding section is technically feasible, whether the basic hygiene and safety requirements, etc, are met, and whether teaching and learning and other relevant services of the school will be affected; and

(ii) whether small-scale boarding section is cost-effective, and whether its unit cost is comparable to that of the existing boarding sections of a larger scale.

(3) The Bureau will draw reference to the results of the foregoing pilot project and, based on actual needs, further review the policy on the boarding sections concerned. At that time, the Bureau will consult the views of the major stakeholders, including the relevant schools, school sponsoring bodies and parents, and will inform them of the outcomes.

Ends/Wednesday, June 30, 2004


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