Saturday, November 28, 2015   

School denies march arm-twisting

RebeccaYu andSerinah Ho

Friday, June 18, 2010

An aided school yesterday denied it forced its teachers to take part in Saturday's march to support the government's political reform package.

The Federation of Education Workers Wong Cho Bau Secondary School in Tung Chung said it merely informed teachers about the march during a regular conference and never asked them to make public their stance on political development.

It added that it was a misconception to connect the event with teachers' promotions, saying contract renewal matters were completed in the second half of May.

Several teachers told the media on Wednesday that they were called to a regular conference by the school head, Jenny Chung Sin-ling, on June 9.


Chung allegedly told the teachers that the march was "an extra professional development activity."

It aimed to provide teachers with an opportunity to gain a better understanding of the political situation.

Chung also reportedly told teachers she would not accept any absences from them without her approval.

She did not return calls yesterday.

Chairman of the Federation of Education Workers Yeung Yiu-chung said: "It is not allowed for school bodies to compel teachers to join political activities."

Hong Kong Professional Teachers Union president Fung Wai-wah said it would be unethical if the school counted the time spent at Saturday's march as hours for teachers' professional development.

Meanwhile, the Association for Democracy and People's Livelihood will back the reform package if the government abolishes the appointment system for the district councils, legislator Frederick Fung Kin-kee said.

"What we hope to see is a reform that steps towards universal suffrage. We will support it only if the government agrees to abolish the system of appointed district councils. We insist on progression and democracy, not regression," Fung said.

"There's no reason for us to accept district council members being appointed by our chief executive."

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