Skip to main content Skip to search
Print this page

[Archive] Education Commission Report No.7 Quality School Education Appendix b - Summary of Public Comments on the Consultation Document for the ECR7

 

Appendices B
Summary of Public Comments on the Consultation Document for the ECR7

 

General

    *
    The spirit and direction of the recommendations of the consultation document for the ECR7 are supported.

    *
    The aims of school education should be clearly stated, and updated to reflect the changing needs of society.

    *
    Different targets of education should be set for different stages of education.

    *
    To inculcate a quality school culture, internal development within individual schools and external provision of an enabling environment, such as providing more resource and support, are essential.

    *
    A gradual time-table should be mapped out to implement the recommendations in the ECR7.


Quality Indicators

    *
    Quality indicators should cover both academic and non-academic areas. Different indicators should be used at different stages of school education.

    *
    The indicators listed in Appendix D of the consultation document are not comprehensive.

    *
    Input indicators should reflect the student and school characteristics. As schools may not be able to change such characteristics, it is more appropriate to rename the "input indicators" as "school profile".

    *
    Process indicators should reflect the effectiveness of school management, and the teaching and learning process.

    *
    Output indicators should reflect students' value-added performance in both academic and non-academic areas.

    *
    It is not appropriate to use results of the Academic Aptitude Test (AAT) and the Hong Kong Certificate of Education Examination (HKCEE) to measure the value-added performance of students, as not all Secondary 3 students may proceed to Secondary 4 in the same schools. Besides, AAT is only an "aptitude" test and should not be used as the reference point for evaluating students' academic performance.

    *
    It is difficult to develop a set of commonly acceptable, measurable and reliable quality indicators. Schools with similar background should be encouraged to form quality circles to share experience in developing indicators that best meet their needs. The Education Department (ED) should render assistance in the process. At the initial stage, a list of sample indicators may serve as a useful reference.

    *
    Appropriate weightings should be assigned to quality indicators according to their relative importance. Care should be taken not to overstate the importance of tangible indicators such as academic achievement, at the expense of less tangible ones such as aesthetic development.

    *
    Separate indicators should be developed to meet the needs of primary schools, special schools and kindergartens.


School-based management

    *
    Many schools have implemented measures in line with the spirit of school-based management, though they have not joined the School Management Initiative (SMI). The ECR7 should state clearly the requirements for practising school-based management. Otherwise, it would be seen as a compulsory enforcement of SMI.
    *
    Teachers should be encouraged to participate in school management. More support should be provided to the teachers to cope with the work arising from practising school-based management.

    *
    While schools should be given more flexibility and autonomy in school management, their accountability and transparency of operations should be increased. Government schools should also be provided with more flexibility in the deployment of resources.

    *
    The relationship among the school sponsoring bodies (SSB), school management committees (SMC) and ED should be clearly defined.

    *
    Assistance should be provided to under-performing schools. If they do not make any progress after a period of time, penalties such as cancellation of the power of SSB to operate schools, or dismissal of school managers and principals, should be imposed. Care should be taken not to affect the students as a result of imposing penalties on under-performing schools.

    *
    Mixed views were received on whether parents, alumni and teachers should participate in the SMC or the school executive committee (SEC). It was agreed that the rights and duties of the participants should be stated clearly.

    *
    ED should set minimal qualifications and provide adequate training for the SMC members.

    *
    School principals should not be school supervisors at the same time.


Quality Development Committee (QDC)

    *
    The proposal to set up an independent Quality Assurance Unit (QAU) in the Working Group Report on Educational Standards should be reconsidered.

    *
    The QDC should be independent of ED and advise directly the Chairman of the Education Commission (EC), or the Secretary for Education and Manpower (SEM) or the Governor. It should have its own independent research and support team.

    *
    The QDC members should comprise experienced front-line education workers and professionals who can command respect. They should also comprise parents and professionals from other fields.

    *
    The QDC should be tasked to develop a comprehensive set of indicators for reference by schools.

    *
    The QDC should have district sub-offices to monitor the quality of schools in different districts. The reports should be made public.


Quality Assurance Inspectorate (QAI)

    *
    The QAI should develop inspection guidelines with input from front-line education workers.

    *
    A fair and open assessment should be put in place. The results of inspections should be open. Care must be taken not to label schools as under-performing or ineffective.

    *
    The QAI should be independent of ED, otherwise a fair assessment will be hampered. Even if the QAI is still under ED, a panel of experts comprising outside professionals should participate in the work of the QAI. Entry requirements for the inspectors should be raised, and sufficient training should be provided.

    *
    The QDC/QAU should be supported by the QAI, and monitor the work of the QAI.

    *
    The roles of QDC, QAI and the panel of experts should be clearly defined.

    *
    The recommendation that ED should commence quality assurance inspections by 1998 is too ambitious and unrealistic, having regard to the time needed to develop a comprehensive set of indicators for reference by schools, and the time needed by ED to restructure its divisions.


School funding

    *
    Subject Grant should be part of the Block Grant. To avoid abuse, schools should be requested to submit report on the use of the Subject Grant to ED on a regular basis.

    *
    Schools should be allowed to freeze up to 10% of the teaching posts and use the relevant Substitute Teacher Grant (STG) for other school-related purposes. The existing requirement that teaching vacancies have to be unfilled for 14 continuous days or more before schools can claim the STG should be relaxed.

    *
    As the Administration Grant covers only the mid-point salary of clerical staff, the primary and special schools are put at a disadvantage as they usually have only one clerical staff and many of their school clerks have reached maximum point salary. Such schools should be allowed to choose either the Administration Grant or the Salaries Grant to pay the salaries of the clerical staff.

    *
    The Furniture and Equipment (F&E) Grant should remain part of the Block Grant. Otherwise, schools have to make applications each time they need to buy new furniture and equipment. The element of depreciation should be taken into account in calculating the F&E Grant.

    *
    Schools should be allowed to retain savings from the Block Grant for six to 12 months. "Older" schools should be allowed to retain savings for a longer period of time.

    *
    Mixed views were received on whether the amount of collectable fees should be increased. Some expressed concern that the increased fees might not be affordable by all families.


Incentive grants

    *
    $20 million is not adequate to achieve the objectives of quality school education.

    *
    Provision of incentive grants may promote elite education which emphasises too much on academic achievement.

    *
    There should not be an upper limit to the number of recipients of the Quality Development Grant (QDG) or the cash awards.

    *
    The incentive grants should not be given until quality indicators in various domains of education have been developed.

    *
    Provision of cash awards alone may "commercialise" education. Other forms of non-monetary recognition such as awards of master teachers, community commendation, should also be considered.

    *
    The QDG and cash awards should be given to schools which show value-added performance in all domains of education.

    *
    The QDG should be available for application by primary schools, special schools, kindergartens and tertiary institutions to develop innovative projects that are conducive to quality school education.

    *
    Care should be taken not to label schools which fail to get any awards or incentive grants. A "league table" should not be put in place.


Recruitment and training of teachers and principals

    *
    Pre-service teacher education is inadequate both in terms of length and funding. A time table for full provision of secondary and primary graduate teachers should be mapped out.

    *
    To ensure their professional quality and leadership are up to an acceptable standard, principals should be required to have university degrees or post-graduate certificates in education administration. ED should review the present mechanism of recruiting principals, and consider appointment on contract basis.

    *
    Deputy/assistant principal posts should be created to handle non-teaching duties such as financial management, personnel management and curriculum planning.

    *
    Increased support to teachers in classroom management and student guidance should be provided. Reduction of class size, provision of whole-day primary classes, abolition of secondary floating classes should be expedited.

    *
    Consideration should be given to recruiting more deputy senior teachers to relieve the workload of senior teachers and class teachers.

    *
    A co-ordinated training plan should be developed to empower all secondary, primary and kindergarten teachers with the knowledge and skills necessary for implementing quality school initiatives.

    *
    Senior teachers and principals should be provided with training in leadership and resource management.

    *
    A comprehensive system of evaluation of training courses should be put in place.

    *
    To enhance the effectiveness and efficiency of training packages, schools, teacher education institutions, tertiary institutions, ED, SSB and the private sector should collaborate to organise visit programmes and seminars for teachers, to enrich their exposure to different realms of knowledge.

    *
    Short-term secondment of teachers and principals to the private sector should be provided to update their knowledge of the non-academic world.

    *
    Teachers and principals should be required to attend compulsory training within a period of time. Incentives such as salary increase and promotion should be given to encourage teachers to attend training courses.

    *
    School-based training and "training the trainers" should be promulgated. Consideration should be given to setting up a school-based training fund.


Appraisal and promotion of teachers and principals

    *
    The promotion of teachers should not be tied to administrative duties. Teachers and school administrators should be provided with separate streams for promotion.

    *
    Teachers' performance should be properly appraised and regularly reviewed to maintain their qualities e.g. through the issue of teachers' licenses which need to be regularly renewed, regular test of teachers' knowledge in the subjects they teach, etc.

    *
    Teacher promotion or salary increase should be pegged to their performance. On the other hand, penalties such as stopping or delaying salary increments should be imposed upon teachers with poor performance.

    *
    Individual schools should have the discretion to decide teacher promotion and dismissal.

    *
    Appropriate award and penalty system should be put in place. Guidelines to handle/dismiss teachers who are under-performing or uncooperative in the quest for quality school education should be spelt out.

    *
    Teachers should be given avenues for appeal against unreasonable management practices and decisions. A General Teaching Council should be set up as soon as possible, to handle complaints and appeals regarding teacher appointment, promotion, counselling and dismissal, and recommend ways to handle under-performing teachers.

    *
    Principals should be given the power to hire and fire teachers, and to handle problematic teachers in an independent yet accountable way. They themselves should be accountable to the SMC.

    *
    Principals should be constantly assessed before and after appointments. Teachers, parents and students should be given channels to evaluate principals' performance.


Others

    *
    A thorough review of the role and functions of ED should be conducted.

    *
    The various divisions within ED responsible for school inspections should be restructured to avoid overlapping of duties.

    *
    ED staff, especially the inspection staff, should be provided with enhanced training.

    *
    The work of the Curriculum Development Council (CDC), Curriculum Development Institute (CDI), Hong Kong Examinations Authority (HKEA) and ED's inspection teams should be better co-ordinated.

    *
    Schools should be encouraged to develop school-based curriculum to allow more choices and opportunities for students to develop their potential.

    *
    The organisation and functions of CDI should be reviewed, with a view to transforming CDI into a more autonomous professional body.

    *
    Joint venture and partnership between school teachers and curriculum planners should be promoted.

    *
    The examination system should not only assess students' academic performance, but their development in other educational domains as well.

    *
    Modular examinations have pros and cons. On the one hand, they may increase confidence of low-achievers. On the other hand, they may be perceived as "second-rate" examinations.

    *
    Internal assessment of students' performance by schools to supplement assessment through public examinations is supported.

    *
    A review of the relationship among different education-related boards and committees should be carried out as soon as possible.

    *
    A review of the interface between various educational sectors should be conducted.

    *
    EC should strengthen its monitoring role over the implementation of various education initiatives, and the allocation of resources to different education sectors.

    *
    BoE should take a more macro perspective in considering educational issues, and discuss areas of common concern with other education-related bodies.

 

Last revision date: 20 January 2010
This website is IPv6 EnabledLevel Double-A conformance, W3C WAI Web Content Accessibility Guidelines 2.0Valid HTML 4.01 Strict