Refining education system

I WOULD like to call on the Government to be ''practical and responsible'' on the following issues: 1. The current system of subsidising the lower income group on kindergarten school fees is so impractical that few can benefit from it. To improve the quality of pre-school education, the government should provide aided kindergarten education. It should also provide better guidance and monitoring in this area. Children simply cannot cope with the Primary One curriculum without kindergarten education as they are expected to be able to write a number of Chinese characters, the English alphabet and the number system.

2. Assess non-Commonwealth teachers more realistically. The test in English should only be taken by teachers who intend to teach the English language or in the medium of English. For those who intend to teach the Chinese language or in Chinese, there is no need for any level of English proficiency because being a good teacher in Chinese doesn't require knowledge in English at all.

3. Adopt practical measures to solve the problem of low motivation in the so-called Five Band schools. One way can be through positive discrimination on class sizes. This way teachers can give more individual attention to weaker students. Another way is by widening the grammar-school-bias curriculum to encompass more practical subjects like commercial English, electronics, etc.

4. Be more flexible in the use of existing resources to provide sound education to students of different capabilities. Some students are not academically inclined, but their parents don't like to place them in pre-vocational schools. Special classes in technical/practical subjects could be provided on a regional basis enabling students from different (grammar) schools pre-vocational education within their region.

5. Apply the same principle to day-care centres for young children. Existing facilities like libraries and activity rooms in Community Centres can be used for a certain period of the day, when older children are attending class, and existing human resources like retired people can be invited to help. EVA LAW Sha Tin