THE Government has come under fire for not doing enough to push schools to upgrade their non-graduate staff to graduate level, despite its pledge to upgrade at least 800 teaching posts in 1994-95. The criticism came after members of the Chinese Graduate Society of Hong Kong Baptist University found out that a number of graduate teaching posts in certain schools were still vacant despite the availability of eligible Certified Masters (CMs) who had obtained a degree through further studies. The Education Department dispatched a circular to all secondary schools in December 1993 stating that each school 'may upgrade a maximum of two non-graduate teaching posts to graduate level'. Referring to last year's Government Progress Report which indicated that 800 non-graduate teaching posts had been upgraded to graduate level in the 1994-95 school year, society chairman Chan Man-keung said, he wondered if the policy had been actually implemented. 'The report uses 'action completed' to describe the present position of the Government's promise. But as we understand, it actually has not been completed. 'For example, a school has three certified masters who are qualified to be upgraded. It is not our business to decide which two of the three should be upgraded. But there is no reason why none of them should be upgraded.' Mr Chan also voiced members' fears that unoccupied posts might be scrapped next year. However, Tam Chun-kit, Senior Education Officer (schools), said the Education Department could not press schools to upgrade their teachers because 'they have their own considerations'. 'No schools should dismiss teachers to take advantage of the provision. But we cannot really press them to upgrade their teachers.' He said to make use of the upgraded posts, the schools had to meet two conditions. 'The first, the resignation of Graduate Masters (graduate teachers) and the second, the availability of qualified Certified Masters. 'For example, if a PE (Physical Education) teacher resigns, the school may decide not to upgrade it's eligible CMs simply because they have not specialised in the same area. 'This explains why some eligible CMs are not upgraded even though there are posts available.' Referring to the report, Mr Tam said: 'We did not mean to say that 800 teachers had been upgraded. What we meant was that the posts had been made available.' He added that the upgraded posts would not be scrapped, even if the schools failed to fill them.