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PUBLISHED : Saturday, 17 September, 2005, 12:00am
UPDATED : Saturday, 17 September, 2005, 12:00am

Parents want better official communication

I read with great interest Liz Heron's article 'Parents still not happy with Delia miscellaneous fees' (Education Post, September 10) and would like to challenge comments made by Stewart Leung, Delia School's management committee member.

In the article, he stated there was 'a 15 per cent increase in enrolment this year'. However, he did not provide the public the statistics leading to the rise. It could have been the shortage of private school vacancies or through the capabilities of the previous deputy principals whom the management fired. After all, the principal had admitted that the two deputies were in charge of academic activities and that he and the management played no active role in student recruitment.

We are not privy to any information so informing the public of an enrolment increase despite recent issues not only confuses, it would appear that management was claiming credit for this increase that they had nothing to do with.

Mr Leung also said that while 'some parents are complaining, a lot are happy with the school'. Again, he did not provide statistics. Concerned parents have been seeking co-operation with management, repeatedly requesting contact details of all parents so that we can establish a PTA but we were told they cannot give in to our requests due to privacy issues. Their stance on having a PTA remains unclear.

The article also pointed out that an Education and Manpower Bureau spokesman has now stated that miscellaneous fees are voluntary. The new assistant principal, Reg Johnston, previously informed me a refund was possible for the miscellaneous fees if the EMB provided an official statement affirming they had no right to charge the miscellaneous fees as a compulsory fee. Clearly, the statement by the spokesman would be enough for parents who paid under duress, to have the right to the refund and not be threatened with our children being deregistered.

There is a severe lack of official written communication and transparency from the management to parents on pending issues. Rules and policies have yet to be disclosed through official means. I urge the management to promptly start doing so.


Clearwater Bay

NET fails to immerse in the local culture

I was disturbed by the letter 'Local teachers living in world of their own' (Education Post, September 10). The NET described the teachers staff room of his/her school as a place full of 'raucous laughter, shouted discussions about the stock and property markets and smelly stinky food'.

Why can't teachers socialise in staff rooms? Do other teachers around the globe all work in world of their own? Furthermore, the food we Chinese eat is part of our culture. Do show respect for other cultures.

Hong Kong teachers eat out for lunch because restaurants are accessible and affordable. It is also part of our culture. Both Chinese and westerners have their own cultures and it is annoying to believe yours is superior. This is definitely not a result of eight years of genuine cultural interaction.

I empathise with Rosemary Kam that NETs are exempted from many administration duties since they cannot understand Chinese. Local teachers understand that NETs are here to enrich the language environment at school. But if NETs don't take initiatives or display enthusiasm in doing so, local teachers have every reason to complain.

I also question the NET saying local teachers bring no enthusiasm into the classroom. I once had a NET at my school who was absent three days a week despite being healthy. When she was at school, she entered classrooms unprepared. I mention this to show that it's meaningless to stereotype local teachers or NETs.


Sha Tin

NETs have to take their own initiatives

I'm pleased that Rosemary Kam's overseas education in Canada has helped her qualifications and confidence to be a teacher. Internationally-educated teachers will always be an asset for English teaching in Hong Kong, and this is another benefit of the NET scheme.

Ms Kam mentioned that local teachers like herself do not have the time to fight for their rights. Don't they have the Professional Teacher's Union with offices in Mongkok and Causeway Bay and Legco representation? NETs need to take their own initiative to approach the EMB and Legco. We also act as advisors for educational policy and operate as a think-tank. This is done voluntarily.

As for who works harder, can hard work be measured through attendance and hours spent at school, or through effectiveness and completing tasks?



Arbitrary criteria to put CUHK in good light

I refer to the brief report 'CUHK still the most popular' (Education Post September 3) which claims that CUHK has captured the lion's share of the top 1,000 JUPAS entrants with the highest average grades in HKCEE and A-levels.

It seems that the criteria used are arbitrary instead of objective. For example, why the top 1,000 students, but not the top 500, 1,500 or 2,000? And if we're referring to JUPAS entrants, why should one drag in HKCEE results, which are irrelevant?

I can't help wondering if such criteria are concocted by CUHK to present its admission results in the best possible light.