Improved schools could win $90,000 cash bonus

PUBLISHED : Monday, 28 October, 1996, 12:00am
UPDATED : Monday, 28 October, 1996, 12:00am

Schools which show the greatest improvement could be paid a cash bonus of up to $90,000 under proposals being drafted by the Education Commission.

The commission hopes the extra money will encourage schools whose students progress academically and in extra-curricular activities.

But critics say the scheme will commercialise education and question the criteria for choosing winning schools.

The recommendation is understood to be outlined in the Education Commission's seventh report to be released next month.

It urges a body of education experts to be formed to assess teaching performance and select winning schools. The money would act as an inducement to teachers and other school staff.

During a proposed two-year trial period, schools would be free to decide how to use their winnings.

The report carries no suggestion that schools showing poor performances should have their funding reduced.

Professional Teachers Union vice-president Au Pak-kuen welcomed the idea, but said concrete criteria were required to measure schools with good performance and great progress.

'And I believe it is difficult to set up the measurements,' he said.

Hong Kong Subsidised Secondary Schools Council chairman John Fan Kam-ping said he was worried the scheme would 'commercialise' education.

'Education is not a simple business. There are things such as students' conduct and learning enthusiasm which are difficult to judge,' he said.

'And there are schools which can hardly make great progress because of limitations such as the nature of their student intake. Shall we ignore these schools?' Mr Fan said all schools should have equal opportunities for grant money.

The commission examined student language problems in its sixth report. Its focus on school quality in the seventh report is believed to be aimed at ensuring teaching is up to standard.