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Details of Student Grant Application in 2020/21

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Dear Education Bureau,

I am a student of HKBU and I am taking a course on public policy taught by Dr. Simon Wang. We know that the Chief Executive proposed in the 2019 Policy Address to regularise the provision of the HKD 2,500 student grant starting from the 2020/21 school year, while we are investigating some of the details of the application and whether the digital transformation system could be related to that.

Here are the questions for the Bureau to answer under the Code on Access to Information.

Q.1 How many applications did the Education Bureau receive for student grants in 2021? As far as you know, are there any students eligible for the grant who did not submit the applications?

Q.2 How are the application forms processed? Specifically, how do the school staff process the form? What do the school staff pass to the Bureau for further processing? How do the bureau staff process the form?

Q.3 On average how many hours of staff work are needed to process one application? Please indicate the level of pay scale https://www.csb.gov.hk/english/admin/pay... at which the staffs are paid.

Q.4 What is the total administrative cost of the student grant scheme?

Q.5 Does the bureau have a plan to digitalize the processing of student grant applications? If it does, please provide further information. If it does not, please provide reasons.

Q.6a How does the Bureau keep the data collected via the paper form? To what extent can this data be re-used in the next round of student grant applications?

Q6b In what ways does the Bureau exchange student data among different sections and teams? Please provide examples of such student data exchange is possible.

Q6c In what ways does the Bureau exchange student data with other bureaus/departments in HKSAR government? Please provide examples of such student data exchange is possible.

Q.7 Referring to the list of staff here https://tel.directory.gov.hk/index_EDB_E... which section/team of the Bureau is responsible for the digital transformation of its operations? Could the team provide documents about the bureau’s short-term, medium, and long-term digital transformation plans? If the Bureau does not have such plans, please confirm them in writing.

Please kindly answer each of the questions above separately; if no information is available regarding a question, please state it explicitly in writing. Thanks a lot!

Yours faithfully,
Andrew Wong

Katie HK CHENG/EDB, 教育局

Dear Andrew,

 

Code on Access to Information

Application No. 14/2022

 

I refer to your application under the Code on Access to Information
received by EDB on 29 January 2022.

 

Your request is now under processing. According to paragraph 1.16 of the
Code, we will inform you of the latest progress of the case separately on
or before 18 February 2022. In the meantime, please contact the
undersigned at 2892 6121 if you have any enquiry relating to the Code.

 

 

Yours sincerely,

 

(Miss Katie CHENG)

for Secretary for Education

 

 

 

顯示引用部分

Katie HK CHENG/EDB, 教育局

Dear Andrew,

 

Code on Access to Information

Application No. 14/2022

 

 

I refer to your application under the Code on Access to Information
received by EDB on 29 January 2022.  Our reply is set out in blue as
follows.

 

 

Q.1 How many applications did the Education Bureau receive for student
grants in 2021?  As far as you know, are there any students eligible for
the grant who did not submit the applications?    

A1. In the 2021/22 school year, the Education Bureau (EDB) has received
around 835,000 applications for the student grant as at 11 February 2022. 
The EDB has no information on the number of eligible students who did not
submit the applications.

Q.2 How are the application forms processed? Specifically, how do the
school staff process the form? What do the school staff pass to the Bureau
for further processing? How do the bureau staff process the form? 

A2. The EDB will distribute the application forms of the student grant to
parents/guardians via schools.  Schools are advised to remind
parents/guardians to fill in the required information in the blank
application forms or confirm the accuracy of information in the pre-filled
application forms.  Schools have to stamp a school chop on each completed
application form to certify that the student concerned is its student and
return the application forms to the EDB for processing.  The EDB will
conduct data input, check the eligibilities of the students and disburse
payment to successful applicants.

Q.3 On average how many hours of staff work are needed to process one
application? Please indicate the level of pay scale
[1]https://www.csb.gov.hk/english/admin/pay... at which the staffs
are paid. 

A3. As staff normally have to handle multiple duties simultaneously, the
EDB has no information on the number of hours needed for staff to process
one application.  The processing work is done by a team of staff who are
at different ranks and pay points and there is no specific pay level for
the staff.

 

Q.4 What is the total administrative cost of the student grant scheme?  

A4. The EDB has no information on the total administrative cost of the
student grant scheme.

Q.5 Does the bureau have a plan to digitalize the processing of student
grant applications?  If it does, please provide further information. If it
does not, please provide reasons. 

A5. The EDB is considering electronic submission and processing of the
applications for the student grant. 

 

Q.6a  How does the Bureau keep the data collected via the paper form? To
what extent can this data be re-used in the next round of student grant
applications? 

A6a. The EDB has developed a computer system to store and process the
applications for the student grant.  The student data collected in the
paper forms are stored in the system and used for printing the pre-filled
application forms for students studying in the same schools in the next
round of application.   

Q.6b In what ways does the Bureau exchange student data among different
sections and teams?  Please provide examples of such student data exchange
is possible. 

 

A6b. The EDB imported student data from relevant sections to prepare the
application forms for the first year of the student grant application. 
Data reconciliation between the data in the student grant computer system
and other EDB systems is conducted to enhance data accuracy. 

Q.6c  In what ways does the Bureau exchange student data with other
bureaus/departments in HKSAR government?  Please provide examples of such
student data exchange is possible. 
A6c. One example is that the EDB passes the student data of the student
grant to other relevant Government bureaux/departments for verification of
the students’ eligibilities for the student grant.

 

Q.7 Referring to the list of staff here
https://tel.directory.gov.hk/index_EDB_E... which section/team of the
Bureau is responsible for the digital transformation of its operations?  
Could the team provide documents about the bureau’s short-term, medium,
and long-term digital transformation plans?  If the Bureau does not have
such plans, please confirm them in writing.

A7. Information Technology Management Division provides support to School
Administration Division in the design and development of the computer
system for processing student grant applications.  The computer system
will be reviewed and enhanced from time to time having regard to the
latest development and future requirements of the project. As explained in
Q5, EDB is considering electronic submission and processing of the
applications for the student grant.

 

 

Yours sincerely,

 

(Miss Katie CHENG)

for Secretary for Education

 

 

From: Katie HK CHENG/EDB
Sent: Monday, February 7, 2022 2:34 PM
To: [索取資料要求電郵#962]
Subject: Code on Access to Information (Application No. 14/2022)

 

Dear Andrew,

 

Code on Access to Information

Application No. 14/2022

 

I refer to your application under the Code on Access to Information
received by EDB on 29 January 2022.

 

Your request is now under processing. According to paragraph 1.16 of the
Code, we will inform you of the latest progress of the case separately on
or before 18 February 2022. In the meantime, please contact the
undersigned at 2892 6121 if you have any enquiry relating to the Code.

 

 

Yours sincerely,

 

(Miss Katie CHENG)

for Secretary for Education

 

 

 

顯示引用部分

Dear Katie HK CHENG/EDB:

Thanks for your responses.

Based on the answer provided, I have some follow up questions:
1. How does EDB store the personal profiles of all Hong Kong students? Is there a centralized database accessible to different sections of the bureau or various sections administer separate databases? If it is the latter, in what ways are separate databases connected?
2. How does the EDB connect with other government departments to exchange students’ info? Please provide technical details (e.g. whether system A accesses data from system B via APIs or some data exchange portal OR data is manually downloaded as zip files) referring to the examples provided earlier.
3. How does the EDB exchange data with local schools? Is there any data exchange protocol or mechanism between the computer systems of EDB and the systems of local schools? For example, consider King's College which is a government school: how does the EDB exchange data with it?

Thanks

Yours sincerely,
Andrew Wong

Katie HK CHENG/EDB, 教育局

Dear Andrew,

 

Code on Access to Information

Application No. 14/2022

 

I refer to your follow-up enquiry under the Code on Access to Information
received by EDB on 26 February 2022.

 

Your request is now under processing. According to paragraph 1.16 of the
Code, we will inform you of the latest progress of the case separately on
or before 18 March 2022. In the meantime, please contact the undersigned
at 2892 6121 if you have any enquiry relating to the Code.

 

 

Yours sincerely,

 

(Miss Katie CHENG)

for Secretary for Education

顯示引用部分

Katie HK CHENG/EDB, 教育局

Dear Andrew,

 

Code on Access to Information

Application No. 14/2022

 

I refer to your follow-up enquiry under the Code on Access to Information
received by EDB on 26 February 2022.  Our reply is set out in blue as
follows.

 

1. How does EDB store the personal profiles of all Hong Kong students? Is
there a centralized database accessible to different sections of the
bureau or various sections administer separate databases? If it is the
latter, in what ways are separate databases connected?

 

As explained in Q6a of the EDB’s reply of 16 Feb 2022, the EDB has
developed a computer system to store the information of students related
to their applications for the student grant.  The student grant system is
a separate computer system and is not connected with other EDB
systems/database.

 

2. How does the EDB connect with other government departments to exchange
students’ info?  Please provide technical details (e.g. whether system A
accesses data from system B via APIs or some data exchange portal OR data
is manually downloaded as zip files) referring to the examples provided
earlier.

 

The EDB passes the student data of the student grant to other relevant
Government bureaux/departments for verification of the students’
eligibilities for the student grant through the computer systems of the
relevant departments.  The data are exchanged by files secured using
asymmetric encryption and delivered through secure file transfer protocol
over Government internal network.

 

3. How does the EDB exchange data with local schools? Is there any data
exchange protocol or mechanism between the computer systems of EDB and the
systems of local schools? For example, consider King's College which is a
government school: how does the EDB exchange data with it?

 

In handling applications for the student grant, the EDB does not exchange
data with local schools.

 

 

Yours sincerely,

 

(Miss Katie CHENG)

for Secretary for Education

 

 

From: Katie HK CHENG/EDB
Sent: Friday, March 4, 2022 2:09 PM
To: 'Andrew Wong' <[1][FOI #962 email]>
Subject: Code on Access to Information (Case No: 14/2022) - Follow-up
questions

 

Dear Andrew,

 

Code on Access to Information

Application No. 14/2022

 

I refer to your follow-up enquiry under the Code on Access to Information
received by EDB on 26 February 2022.

 

Your request is now under processing. According to paragraph 1.16 of the
Code, we will inform you of the latest progress of the case separately on
or before 18 March 2022. In the meantime, please contact the undersigned
at 2892 6121 if you have any enquiry relating to the Code.

 

 

Yours sincerely,

 

(Miss Katie CHENG)

for Secretary for Education

顯示引用部分

We don't know whether the most recent response to this request contains information or not – if you are Andrew Wong please sign in and let everyone know.