LCQ12: Evening secondary schools

     Following is a question by the Hon Ip Wai-ming and a written reply by the Secretary for Education, Mr Michael Suen, in the Legislative Council today (June 13):


     Some students and teachers of evening secondary schools ("ESSs") have reflected to me that quite a number of young people and adults with low educational attainment will complete their secondary education in ESSs while working at the same time, but apart from subsidies under the Financial Assistance Scheme for Designated Evening Adult Education Courses, the authorities in fact offer them virtually no support.  In particular, as far as the implementation of the New Senior Secondary ("NSS") academic structure is concerned, the Education Bureau ("EDB") provides very little assistance and training to ESS teachers and students, making it difficult for them to grasp detailed information on the NSS curriculum.  In this connection, will the Government inform this Council:

(a) of the number of people applying for enrolment in the subsidized programmes at various levels in ESSs in each of the past five years; among them, the number of those who reached the age of 17 when they applied for enrolment in the programmes; of the respective numbers of ESS students applying to sit for public examinations in each year, including the Hong Kong Certificate of Education Examination, the Hong Kong Advanced Level Examination and the Hong Kong Diploma of Secondary Education ("HKDSE") Examination;

(b) given that in implementing the NSS academic structure, the authorities have provided day schools with much funding and support, e.g. the Liberal Studies Curriculum Support Grant, etc., whether the authorities have offered the same or similar grant and support to ESSs running the same subsidized programmes; if so, of the respective specific details and expenditure incurred; if not, the reasons for that;

(c) given that most students of the subsidized ESS programmes work during the day and the number of teaching hours of ESSs is generally less than that of day schools, but the course content taught is the same as that in day schools, and the students have to compete directly with day school students in public examinations, whether the authorities have offered specific assistance to ESS students in the light of the learning difficulties faced by them; if so, of the details; if not, whether the authorities will conduct an assessment of the needs of ESS students and provide a learning support platform specifically for them;

(d) given that the teaching hours of ESSs are less than those of day schools, and quite a number of ESS teachers have indicated that they often cannot finish teaching the full curricula for public examinations, and some ESS students who are working adults have indicated that they encounter much difficulty in completing the assignments for school-based assessment, and in addition, the modules of some subjects cover personal growth and interpersonal relationships of young people, making it difficult for adult students to feel engaged in the learning process, whether the authorities have reviewed the issue of articulation of the teaching mode of ESSs with the NSS curricula as well as HKDSE Examination, and made appropriate adjustments in the light of the situation of ESSs; if not, of the reasons for that;

(e) given that some teachers of the subsidized ESS programmes have complained to me that they and day school teachers are both teaching NSS courses, but they are not granted the authority to log in to the Training Calendar System of EDB in order to enrol in the courses set out in the system, nor can they participate in other training courses organized by EDB, making them unable to obtain the latest course materials and information provided by the authorities for serving teachers and hence affecting the quality of their teaching, of the reasons why the authorities do not let ESS teachers participate in training and use the relevant resources; whether the authorities will undertake to make improvements as soon as possible so that serving teachers in both day and evening schools receive equal treatment in respect of training and access to pedagogic information; and

(f) whether the authorities had made specialized training and seminars available to serving ESS teachers in respect of the NSS academic structure and curriculum content in the past three years; if so, of the details; if not, the number of participants, who had participated in the capacity as ESS teachers, in training and seminars organized by EDB on the NSS academic structure and curriculum in the past three years?



     Our reply to the question is as follows:

(a) Financial assistance is offered under the Financial Assistance Scheme for Designated Evening Adult Education Courses (FAEAEC) to students aged 17 or above attending evening secondary courses run by approved course providers in designated centres.  The numbers of students attending evening secondary schools at various levels under the FAEAEC (all aged 17 or above at the time of enrolment) in the past five school years, i.e. 2007/08 to 2011/12, are listed in Annex 1.

     The numbers of students receiving financial assistance under the FAEAEC sitting public examinations in the past five school years, i.e. 2007/08 to 2011/12, are listed in Annex 2.

(b) Under the FAEAEC, financial assistance is provided for adult learners attending evening secondary courses (Secondary 1 to 7) run by approved course providers in designated centres.  Since the financial assistance mode and the student numbers under the FAEAEC are different from those of day schools, no comparable funding, including the Liberal Studies Curriculum Support Grant, can be offered to the course providers participating in the above scheme.

(c) and (d) As it is important to ensure public recognition of the HKDSE results, the same curriculum and assessment requirements (including School-based Assessment) should apply to all secondary schools, regardless of whether they are public, private or evening schools.

     As regards learning support, the Education Bureau (EDB) and the Hong Kong Examinations and Assessment Authority (HKEAA) have uploaded onto their websites information on the NSS curriculum and HKDSE Examination, including curricula and assessment guides for various subjects, learning/teaching and assessment materials, HKDSE Examination regulations, sample questions, practice papers and information on School-based Assessment for the reference of schools, teachers and students.  The materials and handouts of professional development programmes and briefing sessions for teachers have also been made available online.  Evening secondary school teachers may use them according to the needs of their students.  The School-based Assessment District Coordinators appointed by the HKEAA will also offer support to the teachers of all HKDSE Examination participating schools, including evening secondary schools, to assist them in implementing School-based Assessment.

     Besides, the Students' Corner of the Hong Kong Education City (HKEdCity) website ( serves as a one-stop platform for learning support, providing all kinds of learning resources, career information and features such as student community for use by all students in Hong Kong.  Apart from subvented secondary and primary schools, some schools offering evening adult education courses have also registered as school users of the HKEdCity.  

(e) The EDB has always encouraged teachers to pursue continuing professional development.  Teachers of primary and secondary schools offering formal curriculum, including teachers of evening schools, may be nominated by their schools to apply for training courses organised by the EDB.  Schools may register an e-Services Portal account and then set up personal accounts for their teachers.  Teachers can apply for EDB training courses using the online application function of the Training Calendar System (TCS).

     For schools that have yet to create their e-Services Portal accounts, their teachers can still access training information on the TCS through the EDB website, and may contact the course providers direct to enquire whether their applications will be accepted and application procedures.

(f) As mentioned in (c) to (e) above, teachers of evening schools may enrol on training courses organised by the EDB, and the EDB and HKEAA have uploaded information on the NSS curriculum and HKDSE Examination, as well as materials used in professional development programmes and briefing sessions, onto their websites for the reference of schools, teachers and students.  We understand that quite a number of serving evening secondary school teachers are also full-time day school teachers, and have already opted for appropriate professional development programmes according to their needs and schedules.  We do not have information about teachers attending training courses and seminars on the NSS curriculum in the capacity as evening secondary school teachers.

Ends/Wednesday, June 13, 2012
Issued at HKT 12:15