Leaving public school teachers on the rise, but education chief says don’t worry

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State schools have suffered a brain drain amid the wave of emigration as 3,580 teachers have left this school year – 70 per cent more than the 2,100 the year before – the education secretary has said Kevin Yeung Yun-hung.

Schools under the direct grant program lost 470 teachers, 68% more than the previous year’s 280, Yeung told lawmaker Tang Fei of the Hong Kong Federation of Education Workers in a written response during of yesterday’s session of the Legislative Council.

Yeung said other teachers retired, continued their studies, transferred to another school, changed professions or had other personal reasons, but his office did not provide a breakdown for each. category.

“According to our observations, although the dropout rate is slightly higher this school year, schools are running smoothly overall and schools have employed enough qualified teachers,” Yeung said.

“As the school-age population declines, the demand for teachers would decline accordingly.”

Public schools hired 3,140 teachers, up 30% from 2,400 last year. Schools in the direct grant program hired 650 teachers, up 48% from 440 last year.

Yeung said the government had been careful in planning teacher training and had taken into account the expected drop in demand for teachers.

Degree programs related to teacher education funded by the University Grants Committee will admit fewer first-year students between the 2022-23 and 2024-25 academic years.

Meanwhile, Labor and Welfare Secretary Chi-kwong said authorities were not considering changing the law to deny people who emigrated their rights to receive social assistance, including including social security benefits, health care vouchers and social housing.

Lawmaker Gary Chan Hak-kan said in a written question that more than 120,000 Hong Kongers have left in the past two years while 8,700 people withdrew their benefits from the Mandatory Provident Fund due to permanent departure in the fourth. quarter of last year.

Chan asked why some people are still eligible for public benefits after withdrawing their MPF benefits.

Law replied that for reasons of confidentiality, the authorities do not have information on the number of people who continue to receive social assistance after withdrawing their MPF benefits and leaving Hong Kong.

But he said there are eligibility criteria for different government benefits in which recipients of the social security benefit scheme must live in Hong Kong for at least 60 days a year if they want to get a whole-year benefit. ‘year. They must also report to the Department of Social Welfare any changes such as an absence from Hong Kong exceeding the permitted limit, he added.

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