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LCQ9: Surplus teacher

Following is a question by Hon Tam Yiu-chung and a written reply by the Secretary for Education and Manpower, Professor Arthur K C Li, in the Legislative Council today (May 9):


     It has been learnt that with the number of school-aged children continuing to decrease in recent years, and the transformation of schools such as the merging of schools and schools participating in the Direct Subsidy Scheme, the number of teachers employed by government and aided primary and secondary schools in the 2007/08 school year is expected to continue to decrease. In this connection, will the government inform this Council:

(a) given that it has been reported that the Education and Manpower Bureau (EMB) has earlier ordered 13 primary schools to cease operating Primary One classes in the new 2007/08 school year, and that there are 12 secondary schools with insufficient student intake for Secondary One classes, what is EMB's final decision on the future of these schools;

(b) of the respective expected numbers of surplus teachers in primary and secondary schools in the next school year resulting from schools ceasing to operate classes at certain levels, transformation of schools or reduction of classes; and

(c) of the plans it has to assist the above surplus teachers in seeking employment?


Madam President,

(a) In the 2007/08 school year, 13 government/aided primary schools will not be allocated Primary One class. One of these schools will undergo Special Review, three are considering merger with other schools, four have applied to operate private Primary One class in the next school year, one will cease operation gradually starting from Primary One in the 2007/08 school year while the other four have no clear indication of their development plan.

     As for the secondary schools, there are 12 government/aided secondary schools operating less than 3 Secondary One classes in the 2006/07 school year. One of these schools will turn private to continue operation, two will continue operation through injection of additional resources, five will continue operation with the junior secondary classes under the "Per Capita Subvention Mode" while the remaining 4 will cease operation gradually.

(b) According to the information provided by schools at the end of April this year, there are about 470 surplus primary school teachers in the next school year. As regards secondary schools, since there is a net increase of teaching posts in the sector as a whole in the next school year, only a few surplus teachers exist in individual schools. The exact information will only be available after schools have confirmed the staff changes (including retirement, resignation, staff deployment and absorption among schools under the same sponsor, etc).

(c) The Education and Manpower Bureau has already implemented various measures to alleviate the situation of surplus teachers, including:

(i)    to increase the number of teaching posts, such as creation of additional teaching posts at the junior secondary levels for providing better support for the academically low achievers, provision of additional teaching posts for the implementation of the specialized teaching in primary schools, etc;

(ii)   to request school sponsors to absorb or redeploy teachers among schools of the same sponsor;

(iii)  to encourage schools to employ suitable surplus teachers to fill the teaching vacancies;

(iv)   to provide various grants for schools which can be used, among others, to employ teachers;

(v)    to encourage job-sharing in schools so as to reduce the number of surplus teachers;

(vi)   to handle teachers' applications for no-pay leave with flexibility and implement the Sabbatical Leave for Teacher Professional Development Scheme so as to create teaching vacancies;

(vii)  to set aside $700 million and $520 million for the implementation of the Early Retirement Schemes in primary and secondary schools respectively so as to alleviate the surplus teacher problem;

(viii) if necessary, to release information on teaching vacancies on EMB Homepage so as to facilitate teachers to make applications to schools direct; and

(ix)   to second suitable teachers to the EMB so as to create teaching vacancies for absorbing surplus teachers.

Ends/Wednesday, May 9, 2007
Issued at HKT 12:05


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