Education official's teaching idea overlooks training and red tape

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 23 October, 2001, 12:00am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 23 October, 2001, 12:00am

The Government is emphasising the need to reinforce investment in Hong Kong's education system. The Secretary for Education and Manpower, Fanny Law Fan Chiu-fun, recently suggested, quite rightly, that more Hong Kong people could join the ranks of teachers - I think she was referring to the unemployed middle class in particular.

I just read in the press about a teacher with several years' experience and two Masters degrees, who teaches in a village school in Yuen Long but has recently had his salary reduced from around $23,000 to $16,000 because he has not met the teacher-training requirement.

I know someone with about 20 years teaching experience in tertiary institutions in Hong Kong. He has a PhD but had to leave his post at a local university because of certain downsizing exercises undertaken in that institution. Eventually, he went to teach in a secondary school. His experience of teaching at a university apparently does not count as teaching experience. He will also need to obtain a diploma or certificate in education to qualify as a secondary-school teacher.

The irony is that although his previous experience does not qualify him as a secondary-school teacher, some of his students over the past two decades are teaching at the Hong Kong Institute of Education. If he decides to enrol on a certificate course in education, he would probably encounter quite a few of his former students who would be his lecturers.

The Education Department surely needs rules on training requirements or recruitment qualification. However, if there is no flexibility, I wonder how the Government can offer sufficient incentives to attract people to respond to the invitation from Ms Law?


Shouson Hill Road