Some adult education institutes might have to close or cut their courses if the Government refuses to contribute to the Mandatory Provident Fund on behalf of 1,000 teachers, it was claimed. Education activist Mervyn Cheung Man-ping, vice-chairman of Hong Kong Association for Continuing Education, said education chiefs had refused to commit to covering staff in the 102 adult education institutes. The Education Department helps the institutes to run 720 courses, including language and vocational training. About 1,000 part-time teachers are hired each year. The institutes have received about $17 million in funding for the present academic year. The Mandatory Provident Fund Ordinance says an employee is covered by the scheme if employed under contract for more than 60 days. Yesterday, Mr Cheung said the department had told the institutes in August that they had to cover the contributions. It rejected a request to deduct five per cent from the Government's grants to cover the employers' contributions to the scheme. 'Many institutions told us they can't afford the contributions and may have to cut the duration of courses to less than two months so as to avoid the responsibility. Some small-scale institutions may even face closure,' he said. Mr Cheung estimates less than 10 per cent of the 102 institutions can afford the contributions. 'The department has spared funds for teachers in government evening schools but is discriminating against those working in non-government organisations,' he said. Mr Cheung said the department announced last month it was considering whether more funds would be available.