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LCQ18: Class sizes of special schools

    Following is a question by the Hon Cheung Man-kwong and a written reply by the Secretary for Education, Mr Michael Suen, in the Legislative Council today (May 21):

Question :

    The Chief Executive announced in last year's Policy Address that starting from the 2009-2010 school year, small-class teaching would be implemented by phases in Primary One of public primary schools.  Subsequently, the Education Bureau ("EDB") advised the Panel on Education of this Council in February this year that they had been "reviewing the class sizes of the different categories of special schools with regard to their practical needs and will further discuss with stakeholders in the coming months".  In this connection, will the Government inform this Council of:

(a) the criteria adopted by EDB for reviewing the class sizes of various categories of special schools, including schools for children with visual impairment, hearing impairment, physical disability, intellectual disability, as well as schools for social development and hospital schools; a breakdown of such criteria should they vary among school categories; and

(b) the latest progress of EDB's review on the class sizes of special schools; whether EDB has plans to announce the review results and revise the class sizes within the current school year; if it has, of the details, including the announcement date; if not, the reasons for that?

Reply :

Madam President,

(a) Special schools have already implemented small class teaching, with the number of students per class ranging from 8 to 20.  We are examining the class sizes of different categories of special schools, and the special educational needs of students are our major consideration.  In the light of curriculum, learning and teaching and counseling, we shall consider the teaching and specialist staff establishment and other resources of the schools as well as the resource implications of changing the class sizes, etc.

(b) We have been liaising and exchanging views with the special schools on their proposals and justifications for changing the class sizes.  We are deliberating the proposals and anticipate that we shall announce the decision within this year.

Ends/Wednesday, May 21, 2008
Issued at HKT 15:20


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