City short of Putonghua teachers, says Michael Tien
The pace of promoting Putonghua as a medium for teaching the Chinese language will be slow as Hong Kong is short of qualified teachers and systematic teaching methods, a government advisory body has said. Michael Tien Puk-sun, chairman of the Standing Committee on Language Education and Research, said on an RTHK phone-in programme that there was a shortage of qualified teachers. Mr Tien believed adopting Putonghua as the medium of instruction in Chinese-language classes was a sensible move to raise standards as preliminary findings of a three-year survey on 20 local schools showed skills improved if teachers used it. The government will release a full report by the end of this year.
Woman in murder-suicide bid with infant son in court
A mainland woman, 24, who tried to commit suicide with her 11-month-old son in her arms in Tin Shui Wai on Friday, appeared in Tuen Mun Court charged with child abuse. The court adjourned the case to November 23 and remanded her in custody at Siu Lam Psychiatric Centre. The baby and another son, four, are being cared for by her family. The woman tried to kill herself and the baby but a bystander stopped her as she walked into a water-filled nullah outside Yan Chui House at Tin Yan Estate, police said.
Appeal over missing woman
Police are appealing for information on a woman, 77, missing in Kowloon City. Wong Pui-fong left her elderly care home in Tam Kung Road on Friday morning but failed to return. She is 1.44 metres tall and weighs about 43kg. She is thin and has straight short black hair and a long face. She was last seen wearing a light yellow T-shirt, black pants and brown slippers. Anyone with information is urged to contact police on 2761 2394.
Arson suspected in Kwai Chung
Police are investigating a suspected arson case in Kwai Chung, where a woman was overcome by smoke. The fire started at 10am in a 22nd-floor corridor of a public block of flats in Tai Wo Hau Estate. Firemen quickly put out the blaze. Initial investigations revealed it was deliberately started by someone who lit newspapers. The woman, 40, who lived on the 23rd floor, was treated and discharged from Yan Chai Hospital.
Assault at top school
Police are looking for a youngster who punched a man, 18, in the face at Diocesan Boys' School in Mong Kok last night. The man, surnamed Lau, told police the youth punched him after an argument then fled, a police spokesman said. Mr Lau was in stable condition in hospital. Headmaster Terence Chang Cheuk-cheung said he would investigate.