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Wednesday, October 12, 2016, 23:26

Education workers call for more teaching positions

By Li Yinze

HONG KONG - The Hong Kong Federation of Education Workers urged the government on Wednesday to increase the number of permanent teaching posts for kindergartens, primary and secondary schools in the Chief Executive’s Policy Address to be unveiled early next year.

The group also called for the more job opportunities and reasonable wage protection for contract teachers.

A poll conducted by the group last month showed that most of the 375 teachers who responded were unhappy with the level of recurrent government expenditure on education this year.

This year, 21.5 percent of government expenditure was allocated for education, a decrease of 3 percent when compared with the figure for the 2013-14 financial year, the Hong Kong Federation of Education Workers’ Vice-Chairman Wu Siu-wai said.

Wu said the government should provide more support to local schools to relieve teachers of their administrative workload.

“Due to the need to cope with copious amounts of non-teaching work, local teachers have to work excessively long hours and face enormous pressure,” Wu explained.

“The situation, obviously, affects their teaching quality, as well as the relationship between students and them.”

The survey also showed that 92 percent of respondents raised concerns over possible fluctuations in school-age student numbers in the coming years.

The group urged the government to review its short and medium-term education policies in regard to the supply of school places.

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