Following is a question by Dr the Hon Yeung Yiu-chung and a written reply by the Secretary for Education and Manpower, Professor Arthur K C Li, in the Legislative Council today (Oct 8):
Although a large number of surplus teachers and fresh graduates of the Hong Kong Institute of Education (HKIEd) have indicated that it is difficult to secure a teaching post, I have received complaints that some schools have employed untrained university graduates as "permitted teachers" in the current school year. In this regard, will the Government inform this Council:
(a) whether there are any "permitted teachers" among the new teachers in the current school year; if so, of the details and the follow-up measures taken by the authorities;
(b) of the number of teaching vacancies available for application in Hong Kong in the current school year; the number of surplus teachers who have yet to secure a teaching post at present, and the employment situation of the fresh graduates of HKIEd; and
(c) how long has the over-supply of teachers existed; the supply and demand of teachers during that period, broken down by school year; and the measures taken by the authorities to prevent the recurrence of a surplus of teachers?
(a) In the 2003/04 school year, 307 untrained "permitted teachers" have been recruited. Most of them are degree holders. The Education and Manpower Bureau (EMB) issued in August a letter to all schools urging them to give priority to recruiting professionally trained teachers.
(b) The number of teaching vacancies available in aided secondary schools in Hong Kong is about 910 in the current school year. To-date, the Education and Manpower Bureau has not received any further request for assistance from redundant teachers. We believe that the issue of redundant teachers in aided secondary schools for this year has been resolved.
The number of teaching vacancies available in aided primary schools is about 610 in the current school year. There are currently about 20 redundant teachers who have not been employed as "Special Supply Teachers" as they were not recommended in the professional interview. Some 20 other redundant teachers have declined assistance offered by the Bureau for personal reasons.
The Hong Kong Institute of Education (HKIEd) produced 1,043 fresh graduates through its full time primary and secondary programmes in 2003. The number includes 406 graduates at the secondary level and 637 at the primary level. According to a survey conducted by HKIEd between July and mid-September 2003, to which 954 graduates responded, 77.3% (or 737 graduates) were able to secure employment, 9.3% (or 89 graduates) went on to further studies while 13.4% (or 128 graduates) were still in search of suitable employment. The survey findings were similar to those of another survey conducted at the same period last year.
(c) In the previous five years, there have not been any surplus teachers in the overall supply and demand. The breakdown by primary and secondary levels is as follows:
Reduction of classes and redundant teachers occur in individual schools for various reasons. There is no direct causal relationship between redundant teachers and the overall teacher supply and demand. The Bureau will strengthen dissemination of information on teaching vacancies through the EMB Homepage so that redundant teachers can apply direct to the schools they prefer, encourage schools to recruit redundant teachers on a job-sharing basis to enhance their employment opportunities and request school sponsoring bodies to deploy their redundant teachers to fill all available vacancies in schools under the same sponsorship.
The Bureau will continue to explore various measures to help resolve the recurrent redundant teachers problem.
End/Wednesday, October 8, 2003