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Safeguard the rights of teachers
Protect rights Stable career Ease pressure Raise professionalism
- Improve the class-teacher ratio. Reduce the number of teaching periods to ease the workload on teachers. Review the relative priorities of various policies on education. Eliminate unnecessary non-teaching and ineffective duties from teachers. Increase the number of administrative staff in schools. Improve the package for inclusive education and for non-Chinese speaking students by increasing the number of teachers and supporting staff. Provide full-paid supply teachers for teachers who are on job-related training.
- Increase the number of permanent teachers in primary and secondary schools, absorb more contract teachers and teaching assistants and help young teachers to get a teaching post so as to prevent the loss of talents and avoid succession gaps in the profession. Improve staff establishment. Increase the number of supporting staff such as social workers, teaching assistants and administrative staff. Make SEN Coordinator posts permanent.
- Review the pay scale of kindergarten teachers, and fully subsidise the salaries of kindergarten teachers by reimbursement. Salaries should be based on experience and ranking, and experience should be transferable between jobs so as to build a professional ladder for kindergarten teachers. Attend to the rather high wastage rate of kindergarten teachers. Improve staff establishment and the provision of time for rest and lesson preparation. Establish special appropriations to support on-the-job training of kindergarten teachers. Establish a timetable for all kindergarten teachers to progress to degree-holders. Provide packages for the continuous professional development of kindergarten teachers, e.g. provide development subsidies for teachers and resources for school-based training.
- Urge the government to completely stop the ‘killing of schools’. Strengthen efforts to alleviate the problem of surplus teachers, stabilize the teaching force, prevent succession gaps in the profession, maintain the career stability of principals and teachers, and enhance the quality of education and teaching professionalism. Plan, soonest possible, the number of school places taking into account the number of students, establish long-term measures to stabilize kindergartens, primary and secondary schools so as to enable teachers to be focused on teaching.
- Safeguard institutional autonomy and academic freedom. Prevent government’s interference in the operations of tertiary institutions. Review the mechanism whereby the Chief Executive is automatically the Chancellor of government-funded tertiary institutions, and raise the proportion of elected members of the Court/Council of tertiary institutions. Strengthen the accountability and transparency of the board of management in aided and DSS primary and secondary schools, and set up a declaration mechanism for board members so as to promote transparency in school management.
- Research and review education-related legislation and monitor any amendments thereto so as to protect the legal rights of teachers. Object to any attempts by the government to amend the “Code of Aid for Aided Schools” to empower the incorporated management committee of schools to fully handle disciplinary proceedings relating to dismissals and demotions of teachers. Attend to any attempts on the part of EDB to revise arrangements in the handling of complaints against schools. Fight for the re-establishment of an early retirement scheme in aided secondary schools to help surplus teachers to retire ‘healthily’ and to increase job opportunities for young teachers. School-based management policies should be amended to allow school sponsoring bodies to promote democratic participation in school management and to enable them to put their ethos into practice. Object to the one-off lump sum grant of teachers’ salaries in the name of flexibility in the use of resources. Improve the supply teacher system and restore the 3-day supply teacher subsidisation by reimbursement.
- Safeguard the reasonable career progression of teachers. Avoid filling permanent posts with teachers under time-limited contracts. Treat all degree-holding teachers in primary and secondary schools as Graduate Teachers. Object to any discrimination against the work experience of young teachers. Fight for experience-based pay increments and for ‘equal qualifications, equal pay’. Safeguard reasonable career rights of DSS and private school teachers. Object to the unreasonable dismissals of teachers. Attend to the remuneration of contract teachers and teaching assistants. Urge schools to increase the pay of contract teachers and teaching assistants based on the pay increments of teachers, and to absorb teachers with the right qualifications in permanent posts.
- Urge universities to lower the proportion of contract teaching staff so that more of them could become permanent staff and to raise the remuneration of contract staff to achieve ‘equal pay for equal work’. Establish an independent mechanism to handle appeals relating to academic disputes, dismissals, etc. Urge self-funded tertiary institutions to provide more long-term continuous positions for staff and to reflect their work experience in salaries and benefits when contracts are renewed.
- Enhance democracy in the election process of the Board of Control of the Provident Fund. Strengthen the monitoring of the investment and management of the Fund. Urge EDB to provide a similar retirement protection plan for DSS and kindergarten teachers. Support the universal retirement protection plan. Fight for the cancellation of the offsetting mechanism of the MPF to protect staff’s retirement life.
- Urge the immediate establishment of a teaching professional council comprising elected members and members who are representative of the teaching profession. Teacher representatives should be elected by universal suffrage on a one-man-one-vote basis. Empower the teaching professional council to handle matters in the profession such as teacher registration, and facilitate its development into an independent and autonomous professional arbitration organisation. Fight for the legislation of the right to collective bargaining so as to enable employers and employees to negotiate employment conditions.
Improving education policies
Small-classes in secondary schools
Quality and free early childhood education
Increasing the number of subsidized places in universities
Young teachers entering the profession
- Increase investment in public education to 4.5% of our GDP in the short term, and to 5.4% of our GDP – the average of developed countries – in the long term. Establish stable resources for the long-term development of education, rather than relying on irregular budgets. Increase stable resources so as to comprehensively improve staff establishment in primary and secondary schools, improve class-teacher ratio, implement small-class teaching and increase the number of counselling staff. Improve sub-standard school premises of primary and secondary schools and solve the problem of overcrowding in schools.
- Implement, soonest possible, small-class teaching (25 students per class) in secondary schools. Strengthen measures for stabilising schools and teachers so as to get prepared for the next wave of population growth. Collect latest data on population trends and consult the education sector as early as possible and plan school places properly. In areas where school places are tight, research should be conducted on how to effectively use vacant classrooms, increase the number of available classrooms, and improve school networks and diversions to avoid the imbalance in class structure. Improve sub-standard school premises of primary and secondary schools to solve the problems of overcrowding and unsafe learning environment.
- Implement quality 15-year free education. Invest resources for the development of quality education by making reference to the sponsoring mode for primary and secondary schools. Object to the lump sum grant based on the medians of salaries and to any mechanism that facilitates salary suppression and the dismissal of senior staff. Face squarely the problems and needs of whole-day kindergartens and provide full subsidy for their operation costs. Increase the number of teaching and administrative staff. Establish a pay scale for kindergarten teachers and a qualification recognition mechanism. Increase resources to encourage research work on local early childhood education. Legislate to control playgroups or establish a quality certification system.
- Increase the number of subsidised degree places and senior year articulation places. Increase resources for subsidised tertiary institutions to organise career-oriented courses. Reduce the interest rate of non-means tested loans and provide subsidies to students of self-funded programmes. Monitor self-funded programmes organised by affiliated organisations of subsidised universities; resources (financial gains?) should be channelled back to teachers and students. Support self-funded institutions and ensure a fair development among them. Monitor the quality of programmes provided by non-local tertiary institutions. Encourage more local students to study research-based postgraduate programmes. Urge the collection of study costs from non-local research students. Comprehensively review the policy on student residential places and build more university premises and residential halls.
- Abolish Primary 3 TSA. Decisively and comprehensively abolish TSA at all levels and bring education back to the right track, if TSA reviews still fail to eliminate the problem of alienation/distortion of education. Improve the class-teacher ratio in primary schools. Reduce the number of teaching periods of teachers so as to allow them more time to take care of students. Attend to the emotional and behavioural problems of primary school students. Provide more resources to increase the number of permanent posts of counselling teachers and in-house social workers in primary schools.
- Reduce the number of students per class in special schools and increase the number of teachers in staff establishment. Rationalise the career-oriented programmes in NSS special education. Improve the remuneration of principals and teachers of special schools. Improve the establishment ratio of social workers and provide specialised curriculum coordinators. Comprehensively improve inclusive education. Increase the unit cost of SEN students in inclusive education. Extraordinarily improve the teaching establishment of schools having more SEN students. Establish a permanent ‘Special Educational Needs Coordinator’ post in every mainstream school. Encourage schools to achieve professional division of labour and provide teachers with continuous inclusive education training programmes. Reopen the 1-year full-time full-pay training programme. Improve the mechanism for students to return to special schools from mainstream schools. Increase resources for schools which take care of students with serious mental disorder.
- Improve class-teacher ratio in secondary schools. Increase the number of permanent teachers, counselling and administrative staff. Attend to the level of endurance of teachers and students by reviewing the NSS curriculum and assessment system, including a review of the depth and width of the curriculum. Further simplify school-based assessments and cancel all school-based assessments that have not yet been implemented. Suspend external reviews of primary and secondary schools so as to allow room for improvement in the management and teaching and learning in schools. Provide extra resources to enhance the recognition of applied learning courses and widen the choices and prospects of students.
- Attend to the continuous interference of institutions by pro-China forces in recent years. Urge a review of the governance structure of subsidised universities. Increase the transparency of resource allocations by the University Grants Committee so as to prevent vicious competition among institutions, causing an excessive imbalance between teaching and research & development leading to the weakening of institutional autonomy and academic freedom. Increase funding for local research and allow universities to develop individual characteristics.
- Promote a moral and civic education which is based on humane care and historical facts, and which emphasises universal values, multiple perspectives and critical thinking. Be aware of political intervention in curriculum development. Be aware of the resurgence of brain-washing National Education, or its infiltration into other subjects and activities. Stop drug abuse by students and urge the police to strengthen the fight against drugs right at the source. Strengthen moral development of students and help them to develop proper values of life.
- Strengthen the public education system so as to enable students from all strata of society to enjoy equal rights to education. Urge the government to provide suitable Chinese and English curricula and examinations for underprivileged children. Set up a ‘Chinese as a Second Language’ curriculum for non-Chinese speaking students and provide more choices for applied learning to ensure equal learning opportunities. Lower the price of textbooks. Eliminate digital separation by helping impecunious students to use digital learning facilities. Strengthen social welfare to protect the upbringing of children from single-parents and families plagued by problems. Promote the development of all-round education.
Participate in social affairs
Democracy and human rights Environmental protection
Welfare for the middle-class Helping the elderly and those in need
- Reduce the overall tax burden on the middle-class, increase allowances for dependent parents, dependent children and self-education. Expand the coverage of legal aid for the middle class, irrespective of their financial position.
- Attend to the housing and retirement benefits of teachers, including financial support for medication for the middle class and strengthening medical protection for them.
- Strengthen efforts on poverty alleviation and face squarely the problem of NEET (Not in Education, Employment or Training) youths. Object to the importation of foreign labour. Fight for standard working hours. Protect the rights of labour. Fight for the implementation of a universal retirement protection system.
- Watch out for any attempts on the part of the government to restart legislation of Article 23 of the Basic Law. Object to the enactment of any legislation which prejudices the basic rights and freedom of Hong Kong people.
- Monitor and stop unhealthy trends of gambling, pornography, drug abuse and violence. Strengthen education for the media.
- Promote democracy. Urge the government to restart the constitutional reform programme to implement universal suffrage of the Chief Executive and the Legislative Council as soon as possible.
- Respect ‘One-country, two systems’. Safeguard the independence of the judiciary, freedom of the press and the natural rights of humans.
- Urge the vindication of the June 4 Incident. Attend to the conditions of democracy and human rights on the mainland China. Promote prosperity and progress of the country.
- Face squarely the problem of global environmental protection. Protect the environment and promote green living.
- Attend to regional issues related to Hong Kong, especially those relating to peace, political relations and economic relations in Asia. Strengthen international interactions, step up exchanges with teachers’ unions in other territories, attend international conferences on education and support other teachers’ unions across the globe.