The Education Commission may be merged with the oldest education body early next year under a government plan to improve the efficiency of policy-making. It is understood that under the plan, the Board of Education, which was set up in 1920, would be disbanded shortly after the Education and Manpower Bureau merges with the Education Department in January. The board was the government's top education policy think-tank until the Education Commission was formed in 1984. It advises the government on educational matters at school level. The tenure of the 19 board members is due to expire at the end of the year. Permanent Secretary for Education and Manpower Fanny Law Fan Chiu-fun told the South China Morning Post the Education and Manpower Bureau was considering streamlining the advisory committee system. 'An idea being mooted is to merge the Education Commission and the Board of Education,' she said, adding that the government would consult members of the two advisory bodies. Sources close to the government said education officials were also considering scrapping the Standing Committee on Language Education and Research (Scholar), with its functions to be taken over by the Curriculum Development Institute under the Education Department. Mrs Law said the streamlining of advisory bodies was aimed at improving the efficiency and consistency of policy-making. She said the idea was in line with the spirit of merging the bureau with the Education Department to integrate policy formulation and implementation. There are five advisory bodies under the bureau: the Board of Education, the Education Commission, the Scholar, the Quality Education Fund Steering Committee, and the Advisory Committee on Teacher Education and Qualifications.