A primary upgrading by degrees
THE Education Commission Report No 5 recommends increasing the proportion of graduate posts in primary schools. This means that there would need to be provision for upgrading the professional standards of a large number of teachers.
Some speculated that there were as many as 20,000 teachers in the territory who could possibly seek to upgrade their qualifications.
Hong Kong teachers now have a range of courses from which to choose at the University of Hong Kong, Chinese University and the OLI's Distance Learning Degree programme on primary education.
British education still offers real opportunities for Hong Kong teachers. Each year 300-400 teachers go to Britain for some training in the teaching profession.
Going to Britain also offers an opportunity to get to know a different culture, make friends from other countries, gain new insights, stretch oneself academically and develop teaching skills.
Lorita Ng Ka-wah decided to apply for the BEd degree at the University of Hertfordshire.
Now in her second year, she said: ''My courses are designed to ensure the parallel development throughout of both subject and professional study. Last year, I was given a year six class (11 years old) for my three-week block of teaching experience in a local school.
''As I had three years' primary teaching experience in Hong Kong, it really gave me quite a different view of primary education.'' When Kitty Wong Pui-yiu decided to study for a degree abroad, she went to the British Council's Education Counselling Service (ECS) to find out more about the in-service courses.
Kitty, who had five years' teaching experience, decided on the BEd at the University of Nottingham and concentrated on the Teaching of English to Speakers of Other Languages. After her BEd, Kitty continued her studies in MA in Linguistics.
Kitty now works in the language centre at HKUST.
British universities now offer more flexible degrees. Some have a modular degree system which enables graduate teachers from Hong Kong to undertake full-time study in Britain during vacations and part-time study in Hong Kong during term time. These modular MEd programmes are quite popular both with local and expatriate teachers.
To find out more about teacher education, come to the four-day British Education Exhibition (BEE '94) starting on Thursday at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre, Level 5 in Wan Chai.
There will be two seminars on ''Education Studies Including In-service Teacher Education'' on Saturday and Sunday at 4.30 pm in Room 601. Admission is free.
The venue is Level 5, Hall West, Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre, 1 Harbour Road, Wan Chai.
The hours are as follows: Thursday - 11.30 am - 7 pm; Friday - 10 am to 7 pm; Saturday - 10 am to 7 pm, and Sunday - 10 am to 6 pm.