PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 10 December, 2003, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 10 December, 2003, 12:00am

Single teachers

I refer to the letter headlined 'Why subsidise singles?' (December 5), about the special allowance for native English-speaking teachers (NETs).

I am mystified as to why the correspondent thinks single teachers incur fewer expenses than couples. It is even more expensive to set up home without a partner (who would probably be working) to share the expenses. The flat that most NETs rent is the same price whether one is single or married. If it is being suggested that teachers (most of us advancing in years) share, I hazard a guess that few of us would agree to that.

Also, remember that the allowance is taxable as income to NETs, from where it mostly ends up in the pockets of landlords where presumably it is taxed again. The allowance benefits many, as well as being the difference between going or staying for many of us.

M. EVANS, Lantau Island

Inefficient scheme?

There is only one native English-speaking teacher (NET) in my school and the demand is such that only a few students can talk with her to improve their English. So the NET scheme is not fully used. Also, NET teachers still cannot get used to the teaching style in Hong Kong and have to be retrained. Facing a deficit, maybe the government should cut this spending and instead improve multi-media education or the quality of teachers.

JOHN TSE, Tuen Mun