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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 a signing ceremony by 14 secondary schools in North District pledging to participate in the Voluntary Optimisation of Class Structure Scheme today (January 12):

Reporter: Would the scheme be rather futile, if you cannot actually ensure that no schools would have to be closed even after you have reached your target?

Secretary for Education: I am afraid our target is not tied to the fact that there will be no closure of schools, absolutely no closure next year because school admittance depends on a number of factors. I think the main one of course is the wish of the parents.  They play a great part in selecting which schools they want their children to attend. I think this uncertainty makes it impossible for us to tell now whether schools will be able to admit enough students next year to avoid closure.

Reporter: The education system is set up to educate students, but why does your policy seem to save jobs for teachers?

Secretary for Education: I am afraid it's not about saving jobs.  It is about raising the quality of education.  As we have said, the main essence of this scheme is to enable schools which have not enough space to reduce the number of classes, so as to enable other students more room to manoeuvre and to free up classrooms to enable them to join the NSS (New Senior Secondary Academic Structure).

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

Ends/Wednesday, January 12, 2011
Issued at HKT 17:56


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