Civil Service can set example

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 30 May, 1998, 12:00am
UPDATED : Saturday, 30 May, 1998, 12:00am

In her explanation of language proficiency requirements for appointment to the Civil Service (South China Morning Post, May 22), Bernadette Linn, for Secretary for the Civil Service, mentioned the circumstances under which the Chinese language requirement might be waived.

Is there a similar arrangement to waive the English language requirement 'where there are difficulties in finding qualified and suitable candidates for the job'? Does the largest employer of the SAR give both languages equal importance when it comes to exempting job-seekers from language proficiency requirements? The Education Department always emphasises the importance of training students to become proficient in both Chinese and English. The Government's recruitment requirements should fully reflect its stated objectives in manpower training by giving both languages equal status. Parents still believe that if students learn in English it will improve their employment prospects.

Parents doubting the economic and social value of 'mother-tongue education' need more evidence from the SAR's largest employer to show that their children's Chinese proficiency is, as important as that of English when they later seek jobs.