on 14 November 1997
ITEM FOR FINANCE COMMITTEE
HEAD 40 - EDUCATION DEPARTMENT
Subhead 700 General other non-recurrent
New item "One-off grant to public sector secondary schools adopting Chinese as the medium of instruction"
Members are invited to approve the creation of a new commitment of $36,050,000 for providing a one-off grant to public sector secondary schools adopting Chinese as the medium of instruction.
Schools using or switching to Chinese as the medium of instruction (MOI) need additional resources to prepare teaching materials in Chinese.
2.The Director of Education (D of E) proposes to create a new commitment of $36,050,000 for -
- providing a one-off grant of $155,000 to each public sector secondary school adopting Chinese as the MOI for the first time from the 1998/99 school year for employing temporary clerical staff and for purchasing teaching materials and a duplicator as necessary; and
- providing a one-off grant of $30,000 to each public sector secondary school already using Chinese as the MOI for purchasing a duplicator.
3.It has always been the Government ' s policy to encourage secondary schools to use Chinese as the MOI for more effective learning. At present, there are 158 secondary schools in the public sector which have adopted Chinese as the MOI. We estimate that an additional 202 (Note) secondary schools will switch to Chinese as the MOI by the 2001/02 school year in response to the Medium of Instruction Guidance for Secondary Schools (the MOI Guidance) issued by the Education Department in September 1997. Taken together, they will represent about 80% of the total number of secondary schools in the public sector.
4.When schools switch to Chinese as the MOI, they need to prepare teaching materials such as notes, worksheets, examination papers, circulars, etc. in Chinese. This entails additional work for teachers and clerical staff, especially during the transitional period. To enable the schools to handle the additional work in the initial year without affecting the quality of teaching, we propose to provide them with a one-off grant of $155,000 for purchasing a duplicator and additional teaching materials, and for employing temporary clerical staff.
5.For secondary schools which are already adopting Chinese as the MOI, we have assessed the assistance they require and propose to make a one-off grant of $30,000 to them immediately for the purchase of a duplicator to improve the efficiency in reproducing teaching materials.
6.We estimate that the proposal will cost $36,050,000, made up as follows -
|$ ' 000
|(a)||Grant to schools using Chinese as the MOI for the first time from the 1998/99 school year onwards|
|(b)||Grant to schools already using Chinese as the MOI in the 1997/98 school year|
7.As regards paragraph 6(a), the expenditure is for providing a one-off grant of $155,000 for each of the 202 secondary schools which we estimate will adopt Chinese as the MOI between the 1998/99 and 2001/02 school years. We calculate the level of grant on the basis of an estimated cost of $20,000 for teaching materials, $30,000 for a duplicator and $105,000 for the employment of a temporary clerical assistant for 12 months. The schools, however, may use the grant flexibly for the purpose of preparing teaching materials in Chinese. We will provide the grant to schools switching to Chinese as the MOI at the beginning of that school year. If more schools than estimated switch to Chinese as the MOI, we will seek an increase in the approved commitment in the normal manner to ensure that these schools will also receive the one-off grant.
8.As regards paragraph 6(b), the expenditure is for providing a duplicator for each of the 158 secondary schools which are currently adopting Chinese as the MOI. Again, the schools may use the grant flexibly for the purpose of preparing teaching materials in Chinese. We will provide the grant to these schools as soon as practicable in the current financial year.
9.Subject to Members ' approval, we shall provide the supplementary provision required in 1997-98 under delegated authority. We shall include sufficient provision in the Estimates in subsequent years to meet the cost of this proposal.
10.Overseas and local educational research shows that students learn better through their mother tongue. It is therefore the Government ' s policy to encourage local secondary schools to use Chinese as the MOI. The D of E issued the MOI Guidance in September 1997 which stipulates that all public sector secondary schools should use Chinese to teach all academic subjects starting with their Secondary 1 intake in the 1998/99 school year and such arrangement should be extended each year to a higher level. Schools can only use or continue to use English as the MOI if they meet certain requirements.
11.Since 1986, the Government has been providing positive measures to schools using Chinese as the MOI to support mother-tongue teaching and to enhance English language learning in these schools. These measures, which will continue to apply in the implementation of the MOI Guidance, include -
- additional teachers of English for Secondary 1 to 3 classes;
- room partitioning to facilitate split-class teaching of English;
- a second wire-free loop system to enhance language learning through listening; and
- a library grant for the purchase of additional reading materials.
12.To further support the implementation of the MOI Guidance from the 1998/99 school year, we will provide schools adopting Chinese as the MOI in Secondary 4 and 5 with additional teachers of English. All schools adopting Chinese as the MOI will also receive a recurrent English language grant for purchase of self-access English learning materials and other teaching aids, and for organising extra-curricular activities in English.
Education and Manpower Bureau
(Note) Of the 202 schools, we estimate that 177 schools will switch to Chinese as the MOI in the 1998/99 school year, and 25 schools from 1999/2000 to 2001/02.