The Education Department has been criticised by the Audit Commission for planning to spend $1.37 billion on primary schools which are not needed.
The oversupply of schools is partly due to the declining birth rate.
The department's planning strategy is flawed. It always claims it is trying to improve the quality of education in Hong Kong, but this is clearly not the case. If officials cannot accurately project future supply and demand, how can we expect them to improve the quality of education?
I think the Audit Commission's suggestion of merging and phasing out schools close to each other with a lot of vacant classrooms, could solve the problem of oversupply. I agree that the resources and facilities of such schools can be shared by the students.
The sites earmarked for the schools that are no longer needed can be reassigned and used by nearby secondary schools. This would be useful, because so many secondary schools do not have enough space for PE lessons and other sports activities. Also these sites would provide students with more places where they could relax during recesses.
I hope the Education Department will work towards achieving a more efficient planning strategy.
JANICE TSE YEE-PING