15th January 2021 – (Hong Kong) The Education Bureau (EDB) announced today. that the election of the 14th Council on Professional Conduct in Education (CPC) has been postponed due to difficulties in commencing the election activities scheduled for January amidst the COVID-19 epidemic. The term of all current members will be extended for a year to 30th April, 2022.
The normal term of office of CPC members is two years and the term of current CPC members is due to expire on 30th April this year. Activities for the change-of-term election (such as nomination of candidates, electioneering and question-and-answer sessions) normally begin in January, leading up to voting in April.
A spokesman for the EDB said, “In view of the still severe epidemic situation, different sectors of our society should strictly comply with all anti-epidemic measures, including avoiding group gatherings and maintaining social distancing, to minimise the risk of community transmission. Because of the epidemic, schools have suspended face-to-face classes, most students are learning from home, and school staff are heavily engaged in meeting the challenge of the new normal of school education, and are planning, trying out, reviewing and refining new pedagogies to support students’ learning, while also focusing on student support and school administrative work related to the epidemic. As a result, election-related work such as candidate nomination, electioneering and voting can hardly proceed.”
The spokesman added, “The election of the 14th CPC has been postponed and the current members’ term will be extended for another year. The Permanent Secretary for Education has met with the Council members today over the aforesaid arrangement. The EDB will maintain close contact with the CPC and provide support as appropriate.”
The CPC was set up in April 1994 on the recommendation of the Education Commission in its Report No. 5. Its terms of reference are: (1) to advise the Government on measures to promote professional conduct in education; (2) to draft operational criteria defining the conduct expected of an educator and to gain widespread acceptance of these criteria among all sectors of the education community through consultation; and (3) to advise the Permanent Secretary for Education on cases of disputes or alleged professional misconduct involving educators.
The EDB extended its gratitude to the Chairman of the 13th CPC and all the members for their valuable contribution to the work of the Council. The EDB will continue to collaborate with the Council in enhancing the professional conduct of teachers.