Putonghua promotion drive
ALL students from primary one to secondary five are expected to study Putonghua by the year 2000 under a plan to promote teaching of the language announced yesterday.
While educationists welcomed the initiative they were disappointed the Governor had overlooked other, bigger education problems.
Mr Patten has promised to improve and expand the teaching and learning of Putonghua in schools at an annual recurrent cost of $10 million in 1996 and 1997.
Schools offering Putonghua from September 1998 onwards will be given a recurrent grant.
Between now and 1998, summer classes will be conducted for students who wish to learn Putonghua while the in-service teacher training in the language will be enhanced next year to ensure the adequate supply of trained teachers.
Putonghua was offered in 619 of Hong Kong's 1,400 primary and secondary schools as an optional subject in the past academic year.
The convenor of the Democratic Party's education policy panel, Ip Kin-yuen, welcomed Mr Patten's move on Putonghua.
But he added: 'He emphasises this year the changing economy of Hong Kong, but he fails to mention how the education system should match the development.'