70 appeal to teach beyond age limit

PUBLISHED : Friday, 23 April, 1999, 12:00am
UPDATED : Friday, 23 April, 1999, 12:00am

About half of the teachers and principals who had applications to work beyond retirement age rejected lodged appeals against the decisions before yesterday's deadline.

The Education Department said it had received about 70 appeal applications, half from secondary schools and half from primary schools.

The department announced on March 31 that only 15 of the 152 applications from teachers and principals seeking to extend their careers beyond the age of 60 had been approved.

The appeal deadline was extended by a week, to yesterday, after complaints from schools that they had been given insufficient time.

A department spokesman said appeal results would be announced by the end of the month so that schools would have enough time to recruit staff.

Principal of SKH Tsang Shiu Tim Secondary School Lau Chi-fai said he had appealed while waiting for his case to be heard in court.

Mr Lau has filed a High Court writ challenging the department's decision. The case will be heard in mid-June.

'Actually, I haven't submitted any new information to the department,' Mr Lau said.

'What new material can I prepare in such a short period of time? I don't know the result of the appeal. If I fail, I'll wait for the court's decision.

'The department does not respect us. I don't want to beg for the job.

'I applied in the interests of my school. I have worked in the teaching field for 36 years and I just couldn't say how upset I was to the department.' Catholic Education Office spokesman Lo Kong-kai said only one of its four principals had been permitted to continue working.

He said the other three principals had appealed but he was not confident of their chances of success.

Po Leung Kuk spokesman Mak Kwai-po said its two principals had applied to extend their careers and had been rejected.

'We have appealed for them, though we don't know what the judging criteria will be,' he said.

'Although we don't yet know the results, we have already started a recruitment campaign to make sure we will have principals to head our schools.'