Following is a question by Dr the Hon Tang Siu-tong and a written reply by the Secretary for Education and Manpower, Professor Arthur K C Li, in the Legislative Council today (June 18):
In its reply to my question on December 18 last year, the Administration indicated that it would review the Student Travel Subsidy Scheme and the Cross-net Travel Subsidy Scheme, and forecast that the review would be completed before the commencement of the 2003-04 school year. In this connection, will the Government inform this Council whether:
(a) the review will be completed on schedule; if so, of the completion date and the timetable for implementing the review results; if not, the reasons for that; and
(b) the travel subsidy schemes for the 2003-04 school year will be affected by the review results; if so, of the details?
(1) The review of the two travel subsidy schemes is underway. We expect the review to be completed in August 2003. We will present the review findings and our recommendations on the future direction of student travel subsidies to the Education Panel and, if appropriate, seek the approval of the Finance Committee to implement our recommendations.
(2) Application for the assessment of eligibility for student financial assistance in the 2003/04 school year has already started. As applications for travel subsidy from students who meet the means-test are submitted through their schools in September for completion of processing in October, we do not envisage that any proposed changes arising from the review can be implemented in time for the 2003/04 school year.
End/Wednesday, June 18, 2003