THE government will spend an extra HK$228 million on Hong Kong students and teachers to forge closer ties with their mainland counterparts over the next three years, starting in September, according to Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying (梁振英).
According to his Policy Address (施政報告), this includes pushing public sector schools and Direct Subsidy Scheme (直接資助計畫) schools to have ‘sister schools’ in the mainland.
This is aimed at doubling the number of local primary and secondary schools with mainland sister schools from 300 to 600.
Primary and secondary students will also be encouraged to join exchange programmes to the mainland.
At the same time, the Education Bureau (教育局 ) will progressively increase the graduate teacher ratio in primary schools from the current 50 percent to 65 percent in the 2017-18 school year.
Meanwhile, in the Policy Address, titled ‘Uphold the Rule of Law, Seize the Opportunities, Make the Right Choices’ (重法治，掌機遇，作抉擇), tertiary institutions have been warned to review their financial positions and consider ways to use their surpluses to benefit their students or face “comprehensive consideration” on getting lands approved for any future expansion.
A source said the schools are being asked to refund the students directly, such as by lowering tuition fees and offering scholarships to the needy.
(The Standard, 15 January 2015)