‘Teachers who want to quit cite political pressure’

Two in five teachers say they are contemplating leaving the education sector, with many citing increasing political pressure as a major reason for them to quit.

That’s the finding of a survey conducted by the pro-democracy Professional Teachers’ Union, which polled 1,178 secondary, primary and kindergarten teachers done between April 29 and May 5.

Nineteen percent of the respondents said they are making plans to resign or retire early, while 21 percent said they intended to quit but had yet to make any concrete plans yet.

The union said most of those who are thinking about giving up their profession are teachers with between 21 and 30 years of experience, and it’s warning that this may lead to a shortage of experienced, middle-ranking teachers in future, which could affect teaching quality.

Seventy-one percent of those who said they might quit being a teacher cited increasing political pressure as a major reason for their consideration, with 55 percent saying it also had to do with their dissatisfaction with the social environment. Some 38 percent said they were unhappy with education policies.

Union chairman Fung Wai-wah said a separate survey carried out by the union last year showed that the government and the Education Bureau were the major sources of political pressure for many teachers, and the problem became more serious after the national security law came into force.

“After the law was implemented, I think more teachers think that the political situation is going worse. And also the political pressure from the Education Bureau is increasing,” he told RTHK’s Jimmy Choi.

Fung urged the authorities to give teachers and educational professionals the autonomy to decide on education policies.

He also called on them to refrain from exerting pressure on frontline teachers through means such as de-registering teachers – effectively barring them from the profession – or accepting anonymous complaints.
Last updated: 2021-05-09 HKT 18:23