Traditional Chinese Simplified Chinese Email this article
Education Bureau meets school councils

    In response to media enquiries on a meeting between the Education Bureau and representatives from secondary school councils today (January 24), a bureau spokesman said that the parties exchanged views on issues of mutual concern including the impact of declining student population in secondary school in the coming years.

     The spokesman said: "The Government fully appreciates the secondary school sector's concern. We do not want our school sector to be unnecessarily burdened and our teachers to be distracted by these concerns, thus affecting the quality of education particularly at this critical moment when the sector is preparing for the implementation of the new senior secondary structure in 2009-10."

     "All along, the Government has been making earnest efforts to relieve the school sector from pressure arising from declining student population. There is general acknowledgement that we have been taking effective measures such as capping enrolment at 40 students per secondary class starting from 2007, as well as introducing five-year transitional arrangements for surplus teachers under 334."

     The spokesman added that the Government had earlier undertaken to conduct in 2011-12 a review of the demand and supply of teachers and the standard class size with a view to formulating long-term feasible measures for the 2012-13 school year and after, taking into account the implementation of the new senior secondary structure.

     "We understand the present concerns of the sector but the review takes time. We are therefore prepared to maintain dialogue and to explore into measures that would help to further stabilise school development, and to work out short/mid-term relief measures for the coming three to four years," the spokesman said.

     "We will review the number of students allocated to each secondary one class, the criterion for packing class and the enrolment cap. We will examine whether there is scope for making downward adjustments to these figures."

     The spokesman pointed out that various issues would have to be taken into account in considering different options. These would include, inter alia, the demand for teachers under 334, the supply and demand of secondary school places in various districts, the relevant requirements during the double cohort year of 2011-12 (the year when Secondary 7 students under the existing system and senior secondary 3 students under 334 co-exist).

     He added that since the secondary school places allocation exercise 2008 (for students entering secondary 1 in September 2008) has already started, it would not be desirable to adjust the number of students to be allocated to each secondary 1 class for 2008 as this might upset the plans of parents in making school choices.

     "We shall continue to keep in close contact with our stakeholders and hope that the short/mid-term relief measures could be announced in a few months'time," the spokesman said.

Ends/Thursday, January 24, 2008
Issued at HKT 21:00


Print this page