An education lecturer has criticised the Government for spending too little on teacher training and failing to involve teachers in education policy. Dr Jeffrey Day, principal lecturer in science education at the University of Hong Kong's Department of Education, said too few teachers were represented on bodies involved in government policy-making on education and curriculum reforms. He said more educators, including those from grassroots level, should have a say. Teachers' experience in the field made them more qualified to deal with much-needed curriculum reforms than administrators, Dr Day said, adding that he hoped Chief Executive-designate Tung Chee-hwa would keep his promise to improve the system. Dr Day said if educators were given more responsibility, they would attempt to shift an education policy from one based on cost criteria to one committed to students' education. Calling for urgent attention to be paid to cross-curricular reforms, Dr Day said some subjects at schools were being badly neglected. The science curriculum, he said, had not been significantly reformed for 20 years. And subjects like music between Form One and Form Three were facing extinction. 'Demarcation lines in Hong Kong have become rigid. Languages and mathematics have become so dominant that other areas are being reduced or pushed out of the curriculum, especially in primary education,' Dr Day said, noting a serious lack of co-ordination between subject developers. Dr Day suggested that new, or reformed, cross-curriculum subjects be developed to cover health, environment, information technology, language, literacy and numeracy, and physical education, development and psychology. Dr Day said the Government's failure to carry out major curriculum reforms was 'inexcusable'. 'It's a colonial neglect of the system.' The lecturer said teachers should evolve from mechanical teaching to more reflective teaching methods, emphasising the inter-relationship of subjects, problem-solving and student motivation. Dr Day also criticised the 'elitist system' at Hong Kong schools, and contended that placing schools in bands was discriminatory and demoralising to students. 'You label a student a failure and he's bound to fail.' Dr Day is also project co-ordinator of the Centre for Research and Understanding of Cross-curricular Instruction and Learning project, an Internet resource and communication network for students and teachers run by the Hong Kong Institute of Education. Dr Day said, however, that the institute, made up of five former colleges of education, was being marginalised and starved of funding. Of the $270 million earmarked to set up its new campus, only $90 million had so far been received. Teacher education at the institute was different from universities, which did not provide undergraduate teaching diplomas, he said.