Education officials were accused of lacking a sense of crisis after they failed to reserve money for any influx of mainland children following the right of abode ruling. Teachers were disappointed there was no new investment and feared the system would suffer. Recurrent spending on education will grow by 5.1 per cent in real terms to $44 billion. More than $29 billion of that will be spent on basic education. Secretary for Education and Manpower Joseph Wong Wing-ping said education expenditure would take up four per cent of GDP. 'This is not a small number especially when the Hong Kong economy has been unstable recently. In 1989-90, education spending shared only 2.6 per cent of GDP,' he said. Money will be spent in nine key areas, including promotion of school-based management and information technology, improving the learning environment and providing financial help to needy students. Mr Wong said the Government had earmarked $500 million for 1999-2000 to cater for the 20,000 mainland children due to arrive. He said estimates in 1997 showed 66,000 mainland children below 19 would come to Hong Kong in the next two years. By December last year, 46,500 children had arrived. But legislator and president of the Professional Teachers Union Cheung Man-kwong said the measures were 'unwise politically and unfortunate educationally'. He said: 'They ignore the fact that Hong Kong is going to enter a critical moment. We have to face an influx of mainland children. But the Government has not reserved emergency grants.'