To provide schools with greater flexibility in managing their own resources in accordance with their needs and to reduce administrative work, the following grants have been merged to form a recurrent CITG as from the 2004/05 school year and put under the Operating Expenses Block Grant (OEBG) / Expanded Operating Expenses Block Grant (EOEBG) for aided schools (EDB Circular Memorandum No. 172/2004) or Expanded Subject and Curriculum Block Grant (ESCBG) for government schools (EDB Internal Circular Memorandum No. 2/2004) -
(a) Recurrent grant of the Multimedia Computers for Primary School (MMPS) Project;
(b) Recurrent grant of the IT in Education (ITEd) Project;
(c) Incentive grant for extending the opening hours of school's computer facilities; and
(d) Cash grant for employing on-site technical support personnel or hiring technical support services from a contractor (TSS).
To cater for the advancement in technology and digital learning, provisions for maintenance of IT facilities procured by government funds under the following projects are subsumed into the CITG starting from the 2006/07 school year by phases.
Effective from the 2006/07 school year
(i) Information Technology in Education (ITEd) projects;
(ii) Information Technology Learning Centres (ITLCs);
(iii) Multimedia Learning Centres (MMLCs);
Effective from the 2007/08 school year
(iv) projection systems for Computer subject in secondary and special schools;
(v) computer equipment in the Computer Room(s) in secondary and special schools; and
(vi) IT equipment in the Computer Laboratory in ex-prevocational schools.
Taking into account the findings from the survey conducted by an independent contractor on the expenditures of ITEd related activities in public sector schools in March – June 2008, the EDB reviewed the ambit and provision of CITG and decided to relax its usage and increase its provision with effect from the 2008/09 school year to cope with schools' changing needs.
The Fourth Strategy on IT in Education was launched in the 2015/16 school year. One of the key measures was to equip all public sector schools with WiFi coverage in all classrooms to facilitate the use of mobile computing devices for e-learning. To this end, an Extra Recurrent Grant was disbursed to schools to pay for the on-going expenditures in setting up an appropriate WiFi environment for e-learning. In view of the enhancement of WiFi infrastructure in all public sector schools has been completed in the 2019/20 school year, the Extra Recurrent Grant was subsumed under CITG with effect from the 2020/21 school year (EDB Circular No. 13/2020).
Ambit of the Grant
In pursuit of the spirit of various block grants, and to allow flexibility to schools in resources planning according to respective school-based IT in education development plans, schools can continue to flexibly deploy their resources as appropriate to meet their operational needs in the following areas:
(a) purchase of IT-related consumables (e.g. ink cartridge, toner, paper, CD, projector lamps) and other non-inventory IT peripheral items (e.g. earphones, mouse, flash drives and webcams);
(b) purchase of digital resource materials for learning and teaching, including annual subscription/renewal fees for licences & software, and other charges for on-line learning resources;
(c) Internet connectivity and Internet security services fee, including subscription of WiFi services, purchase of portable WiFi router and mobile data SIM card, annual renewal of anti-virus software and firewalls, subscription/renewal of domain names;
(d) employment of technical support personnel / hire of TSS from service provider;
(e) extension of opening hours for school's IT facilities;
(f) arrangement of maintenance services for school's IT facilities procured by government funds, e.g. maintenance or replacement of mobile computing devices; and
(g) upgrading and replacement of school's IT facilities.
CITG levels are subject to annual adjustment in accordance with the movement of the Composite Consumer Price Index (CCPI). Changes in school's category and number of approved operating classes will also affect the entitlement of each school.
(Link: CITG Grant Levels (21/22 SY))
Accounting and Monitoring Arrangement
For general accounting arrangement of using the recurrent CITG, please refer to EDB Circular No. 13/2020.
CITG is one of the constituent grants of OEBG / EOEBG / ESCBG. In this respect, aided schools should observe the rules on usage of OEBG / EOEBG mentioned in relevant EDB circular memoranda and user guides, whilst government schools should observe closely related circulars/memoranda on ESCBG issued from time to time for government schools. In line with the existing rules, schools may retain up to 12 months' provision under OEBG / EOEBG / ESCBG as surplus. Caput schools may retain up to 12 months’ provision of CITG as surplus. Schools are advised to make good resources planning to meet their expenses according to their priorities. For accounting and auditing purposes, schools should keep a separate ledger account to reflect all incomes and expenditures chargeable to the CITG. Also, with a view to enhancing the accountability and transparency of schools’ use of CITG, schools are encouraged to enhance the reporting of the use of CITG to stakeholders (e.g. relate the IT budget with the school development plans in years when there is/are major initiative(s) in e-learning to be implemented and/or there is particular high level of expenditure in the IT area, publish the audited financial statement in their School Reports), monitor its utilisation and make more effective use of the grant to promote the development of IT in education in schools.
Schools are reminded to adhere to the related principles of handling schools' finance matters and follow the proper procedures for procurement, accounting and financial control, including EDB Circular No. 4/2013 and the School Administration Guide (for aided schools), or the 'Stores and Procurement Regulations', EDB Internal Circulars No. 2/2019, No. 3/2019 & No. 4/2019 (for government schools), and any other related updates issued to schools from time to time. Caput schools and DSS schools should follow the guidelines on procurement procedures for aided schools, or their own procurement policies formulated upon the endorsement of their School Management Committees/Incorporated Management Committees.
As regards the arrangement for TSS, schools may directly employ TSS personnel as appropriate and all payments relating to the employment of TSS personnel such as salary, contribution to the mandatory provident fund (MPF), long service payment/severance pay and any statutory benefits conferred by the Employment Ordinance are all included in the grant. Schools can flexibly set the qualification requirements and employment package for the required TSS personnel according to their own needs and the prevailing market condition. When conducting the recruitment exercise, schools should observe the the relevant circulars, circular memorandums and guidelines related to human resources management. Alternatively, schools may consider hiring TSS from service providers. Please ensure the procedures carried out are in compliance with relevant procurement guidelines.
For enquiries on CITG, please contact IT in Education Section at 3698 3606.