SCMP Thursday, June 15, 2000

'Uncertainty' over language policy

Secondary schools that failed to qualify to teach in English in 1998 say mother-tongue teaching policies are clouded in uncertainty.

Officials have yet to decide if a review of the policy will be postponed when the three-year trial ends next year.

St Antonius Girls' College principal Lee Shuk-mei said: "We have been kept in the dark. We don't even know if the senior forms should be taught in Chinese or English." The school lost its appeal to continue to teach in English two years ago.

St Francis Xavier's School, Tsuen Wan, which also lost its appeal, asked the then director of education Fanny Law Fan Chiu-fun whether it could apply in future to teach in English. Principal Yuen Chi-wing said Mrs Law gave no clear answer. "It's not fair if we can't lodge an application when the trial period ends next year," he said.