Suggestions that Chinese-medium schools will be given 10 times more cash for English language support than English-medium institutions have been dismissed. The Education Commission's working party on medium of instruction yesterday passed a recommendation that the government set up an incentive scheme to raise the standard of English teaching in Chinese-medium schools. Media reports had suggested that Chinese-medium schools would receive $3 million under the scheme, while English-medium ones would get $300,000, triggering outrage among leaders of English-medium schools. But chairman Michael Tien Puk-sun said last night that there was 'no dollar amount' mentioned in the report - drawn up in response to concerns that English language standards were declining in Chinese-medium schools. This was because the government could not provide the working party with a figure for total funding for the scheme until it had gained the approval of Legco. 'We suggest that the government should look into funding the Chinese-medium schools and we also suggest that they may think about the English-medium schools as well,' he said. 'We are most concerned about the English environment in the Chinese-medium schools because these schools are having to teach all subjects other than English and Chinese in the mother tongue. There is a concern that the standard of English will fall. 'This will be an annual scheme for a limited number of years. In some schools, they may use this grant to release the teachers to undergo training or to go abroad for immersion studies.' It could also go towards enhancing the English environment in schools through English TV, debates, talks, drama and materials. Mr Tien said: 'This is not a recurring scheme. Once the time is over, that is it. It has to achieve a structural change in the school's ability to teach English.' Sister Wong May-may, chairwoman of the Chinese Medium Schools Association, and a member of the working party, declined to comment until the full report is published next month.