Transcript of remarks by SED

     Following is the transcript of remarks (English portion) made by the Secretary for Education, Mr Michael Suen, at a media session after attending radio phone-in programmes this (March 27) morning:

Reporter: What kind of special development plans are you referring to?

Secretary for Education: We are referring to the possibilities of taking into consideration the minority interests.@For example, schools might be interested in running sports programmes apart from the main academic pursuit. This is one possibility. Other consideration might be education for the ethnic minority or students with special education needs.@These are the possibilities.

Reporter: Can you explain why the scheme (optimising class structure) is voluntary? Why not mandatory?

Secretary for Education: We made it voluntary because we must have regard to the demand of various stakeholders. There is a@strong demand for parents to get [their children]into particular schools. We don't believe this will restrict the chances of parents to choose schools.

Reporter: Would that be unfair to parents as they cannot choose the schools they want but to choose some other schools?

Secretary for Education: This is exactly what I have said. That's why we made it voluntary, not compulsory.

(Please also refer to the Chinese portion of the transcript.)

Ends/Saturday, March 27, 2010
Issued at HKT 14:30