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Transcript of remarks by SED

     Following is the transcript of remarks by the Secretary for Education, Mr Eddie Ng Hak-kim, at a media session after attending the opening ceremony of an exhibition of the Chinese calligraphy of Law Ching-bor today (February 17):

Reporter: Mr Ng, what is your reaction to the most recent audit report on vacated school premises?

Secretary for Education: First of all, I would like to take the opportunity here to thank the PAC (Public Accounts Committee) for its report and effort on the whole subject. If you look at the whole area of vacant school premises for over 10 years, we have been trying very hard, based on an incomplete database, to try to cut down the number of vacancies. Particularly in the last three years, we made special efforts. That is why those vacant school premises under the jurisdiction of the Education Bureau have been cut down to 29.

     Even on the 29 schools I have just made a very brief report on the update: 14 of them have been in operation already, four of them have already been returned to the Government, and two of them, because they are on private land including a lot of complexities in the land grant and others, we need to work closely together with other bureaux to work on them. And then there are nine more already designated for educational purposes of various kinds, like temporary decanting sites and so on. So these are the subjects we are in.

     As I said, in the last three years we tried very hard to cut down and you can see the result of that. Even as late as May, mid last year, talking about the subject of the number of vacancies, I am just updating you, even of the 29, now actually most of them are already in designated or operation purposes.

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

Ends/Wednesday, February 17, 2016
Issued at HKT 18:23


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