Promote languages equally, legislator urges

RECRUITMENT advertisements for civil servants should place equal emphasis on the need to speak English and Chinese, a legislator said yesterday.

This would help promote mother-tongue teaching in schools, Meeting Point's Tik Chi-yuen said.

He said the Education Department's campaign to promote the use of Chinese in schools, announced on Thursday, failed to change the traditional perception that English was more important.

The campaign comes after revelations that only 13.3 per cent of the territory's 400 secondary schools have opted to teach in Chinese from September.

Mr Tik said the Government should take the lead in changing such social perceptions.

He cited the Government's recruitment of office assistants. Advertisements say the applicant should have five passes in the Hong Kong Certificate of Education Examination, including English. This gave the impression that English was very important. Mr Tik said Chinese should also be highlighted.

He said the Education Department should ask that changes be made to civil service regulations to remove discrimination against the Chinese language.

He also wanted the department to help challenge parents' thinking that learning in English was more important than in Chinese.