Lam announces 'air-conditioning grant' for public schools

October 11, 2017 14:11
Hong Kong authorities have begun taking steps in response to calls to improve the education sector. Photo: HKEJ

Public schools in Hong Kong will be offered a recurrent "Air-conditioning Grant" starting from the next academic year.

Under the scheme, educational institutions can use the funds to meet expenses related to air-conditioning of classrooms and other facilities, including paying for electricity charges and routine maintenance costs.

Chief Executive Carrie Lam, in her policy address Wednesday, said the grant is aimed at helping schools "provide a more comfortable teaching and learning environment for teachers and students in hot weather."

Air-conditioning systems will be provided for standard teaching facilities (including classrooms and special rooms), student activity centers and assembly halls in all public sector schools.

The government will also arrange for installation of air-conditioning systems for the facilities concerned, as necessary, in phases, taking into account the actual situation of individual schools.

Prior to taking office in July, Lam had proposed in her election manifesto that she would seek to  boost the government's recurrent education expenditure by HK$5 billion a year. 

In her policy speech Wednesday, Lam said various education-related initiatives, with HK$3.6 billion funding, are being launched progressively as the first-phase measures starting from this school year.

For the remaining HK$1.4 billion recurrent funding, the government will examine the relevant issues and continue to discuss with the education sector, the chief executive said. 

The Education Bureau will set up taskforces this year to take forward reviews on various matters.

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