South China Morning Post, May 6, 2000

Complaints against teachers on rise

Complaints of professional misconduct by teachers have almost tripled in the past two years, an advisory body says. From 1998 to April this year, 26 complaints were received by the Council on Professional Conduct in Education, a non-statutory body under the Education Department, compared with 10 between 1996 and 1998.

The upward trend was attributable to increased knowledge among teachers of the role of the council, said council member Pun Tin-chi, who is also vice-president (internal affairs) of the Hong Kong Professional Teachers' Union.

Of the 26 complaints received in the past two years, 14 were directed at headmasters and seven at teaching staff.

Most involved abuses of their authority by headmasters, dismissal procedures, or infringement of students' rights.

In one case, a teacher who complained of unfair dismissal was found to have inflicted physical punishment on students during his time at the school. The council recommended that his teaching qualifications be withdrawn.

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