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LCQ2: Schools encouraged to establish a harmonious and caring school culture

     Following is a question by the Hon Samson Tam and a reply by the Secretary for Education, Mr Michael Suen, in the Legislative Council today (April 28):


     It has been reported that recently a secondary school principal is very strict in shaking up school discipline, causing some students of the school to criticise him on social networking sites on the Internet which created a disturbance.  In this connection, will the Government inform this Council:

(a) what measures and policies the authorities have in place to follow up this kind of incidents, so as to ease the tense relationship between students and schools;

(b) whether it has looked into the roles of the Parent Teachers Association and Management Committee of the aforesaid school in this incident; if it has, of the details; and

(c) given that in recent years, students voiced their discontent with school policies from time to time on the discussion platforms on the Internet, and also used strong words, whether the authorities have studied and assessed the impact of the situation on the relationship between students and schools; if they have, of the outcome; if not, whether they will expeditiously do so?



     The Education Bureau (EDB) provides appropriate guidelines to schools in the School Administration Guide and the Guidelines on Student Discipline to encourage them to develop their own school-based discipline policies and measures in accordance with the needs of the students as well as the context of the development of schools to handle students' unruly behaviour in a fair and reasonable manner.

     Schools are also encouraged to collect and consider the views of teachers, parents and students, and, through discussions and other activities, explain to students and parents the rationale behind the school rules so as to deepen their understanding of the rules and to build consensus. Schools should also review their rules and discipline policies regularly.

     Students can reflect their views on school policies through different channels, for example, the student union, class committee, school bulletin, letters and e-mail etc.  Given the increasing popularity of the use of Internet among young people, it is also common for students to make use of the Internet to express their views.  In this connection, EDB has all along encouraged schools to be open and receptive to students' views and to enhance communication with students so as to establish a harmonious and caring school culture.

     Besides, we also encourage schools to advise students to make proper use of the Internet and to guard against Internet traps.  Students should also be advised to be responsible for their views and behaviour on the Internet. In this regard, EDB will strengthen education on the use of the Internet and will in due course distribute a resource kit to all primary and secondary schools on the proper use of the Internet, setting out the proper online behaviour, including self-discipline, mutual respect, rational discussion and be responsible for views expressed online etc.

     Replies to the three parts of the question are listed below:

(a) If the kind of incident mentioned in the question happens in a school, EDB will contact the school immediately to understand the details and to provide relevant advice and support.  We will also advise the school to keep an open mind in dealing with the views of students.

(b) We understand that the PTA and SMC of the school concerned have played an active role in helping the school handle the incident.

(c) We have no plans to launch any study on the impact of the Internet discussion platforms on the relationship between students and schools.

Ends/Wednesday, April 28, 2010
Issued at HKT 12:48


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