Following is the speech by the Secretary for Education and Manpower, Prof Arthur K C Li, on the proposed amendments at the Committee Stage of the Education (Miscellaneous Amendments) Bill 2003 at the Legislative Council meeting today (January 14):
I move the amendments to the clauses read out just now and shall briefly explain the reasons for these amendments.
The proposed amendment to clause 1 specifies the commencement date of the Amendments Ordinance as a day to be appointed by the Secretary for Education and Manpower by notice published in the Gazette, instead of 1 September 2003 as previously proposed in the Bill.
The amendment to clause 2 adds the definition of Direct Subsidy Scheme (DSS) schools under section 3 of the Education Ordinance.
The amendment to clause 3 seeks to amend section 10(2) instead of repealing it. This is to reflect the policy intention that any evening session of an aided or a DSS school is required to be separately registered.
In view of the proposed amendment to clause 3, a consequential amendment is made to clause 4 to amend section 22(1)(ca) by allowing an existing school which offers day and evening sessions to submit written application for cancellation of the registration of its evening school.
The amendment to clause 5 seeks to amend section 59(3) by enabling the Appeal Boards Panel to make standing orders to regulate the procedure for appeals.
The amendment to clause 7 is to address the concern of members of the Bills Committee about the composition of an Appeal Board. A subsection is added to section 62, which provides that where an Appeal Board hears or determines any appeal concerning the registration or cancellation of registration of a teacher, at least three of its members must be registered teachers.
To allow teachers, who possess the prescribed qualifications for registration as a teacher immediately before the commencement date, to submit their applications for registration, an amendment to clause 20 is proposed to enable permitted teachers to apply for registration as registered teachers within two months from the enactment of the Bill.
Clauses 6, 11, 14, 17, 18 and 19 are technical amendments to provide for incidental and connected matters.
All the above amendments represent consensus reached between the Government and the Bills Committee. I hope that Members will support and pass these amendments. Thank you, Madam President.
Ends/Wednesday, January 14, 2004