Education official's teaching idea overlooks training and red tape
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