Many schools have basically frozen the hiring of teachers in recent years. This makes it even harder for education graduates to find a teaching job. With prospects so gloomy, they have no choice but to work as teaching assistants. Some upgrade their skills and enhance their experience, improving their résumés to attract potential employers.
This year, the Education Bureau implemented measures to stabilise the teacher workforce. This includes requiring schools to hire a replacement only after an incumbent teacher has left his or her position.
This policy has made it even more difficult for education graduates to enter the profession. As a result, most of them work as teaching assistants while waiting for an opening, or they opt for auxiliary class teaching to gain more experience.
The hiring freeze has other harmful consequences - there may not be enough properly trained educators to replace retirees.
The government should re-examine its education policy to allow more graduates to join the profession. For example, it can implement small-class teaching or boost the ratio of teachers to students in Hong Kong classrooms.
Michael Lui, chairman, Hong Kong Prospective Teachers Association
As told to Chiu Po-sze