Professor Lau (middle) suggests that the government provides more support to encourage schools to open up their facilities for community use


劉教授(中)建議,政府提供更多支援,以鼓勵學校借出場地予社區團體。

Date: 15 Jun 2016 (Wednesday)

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HKBU scholar’s study shows that only 23% of secondary and primary schools open their sports facilities for community use

浸大學者研究指僅兩成三中小學開放閒置運動設施予社區團體 學者籲政府提供財政資助並訂立學校租借場地政策

Only 23% of secondary and primary schools open their sports facilities to the public, a figure that lags far behind some other countries according to a research conducted by Professor Patrick Lau Wing-chung, Department of Physical Education of Hong Kong Baptist University (HKBU) released today.
 
There are many concerns hindering schools from opening their venues, such as a possible clash in the schedule between leasing time of sports facilities and teaching activities, potential safety risks and the effect on normal school operations. Professor Lau suggested that the government and District Council could provide financial support and set up related policies to encourage schools to open up their facilities for community use and to promote a closer school-community relationship. 
 
With an aim to gauge the current situation as well as the merits and demerits of opening school sports facilities for community use, Professor Lau accepted invitation from the Hon Ma Fung-kwok, Legislative Councilor (Sports, Performing Arts, Culture and Publication) to conduct “Policy study on the opening of school sports facilities for community use”.
 
A total of 138 secondary and primary schools responded to the survey questionnaire and only 23% of the respondents said they open their sports facilities for community use, and the main reason for opening is to strengthen the connection between the school and the community (56%). The other reasons cited are: to promote holistic community development (29%) and provide more sports resources to the community (15%). The percentage of schools that open their sports facilities for community use is far less than the percentage in some other countries, such as the US where 57% open their facilities, Japan with 99% and mainland China with 29%.
 
According to the schools which responded by saying that they open or are willing to open their sports facilities for community use, the success rate of venue booking applications is 82%, with the main reason for successful approval being their familiarity with the applicant (76%). The reasons for rejecting applications stem from issues over insurance, legal liability and compensation (31%), security consideration and crowd control (24%); and concerns over more people unrelated to the school entering the campus (15%).
 
Regarding the schools’ concerns when considering whether to accept applications, topping the list is the extra demands it places on schools’ resources and manpower (17%), then comes issues of safety of persons and legal liability (15%), and insurance (15%), followed closely by concerns over more people entering the campus (14%). Despite these concerns, most agreed that opening sports facilities for community use is beneficial, such as strengthening the connection between the school and the community (26%); providing more sports resources to society (20%) and promoting a culture of sports for all (17%).  
 
The most attractive incentive for schools to open up their sports facility for community use is financial related support, including the provision of additional funding by the government to schools which are willing to open their facilities (24%), to resolve insurance issues (22%), and to disburse payment on additional security work needed (15%). They expect the government and District Council to fully or partially subsidise the cost arising from opening the sports facilities to the public (29%), setting up policies related to venue booking (22%) and providing operating modes for reference (15%).
 
Professor Lau pointed out that modern society is exploring how secondary and primary schools, as one of the core groups in community, could contribute more to community building and blending. He suggested that schools should proactively consider ways to open more facilities for community use provided that their teaching demands have been satisfied. At the same time, the government should establish guidelines for writing disclaimers, provide guarantee on insurance limits and sufficient financial support to schools, so that schools do not need to worry about the additional cost arising from facilities maintenance, security, cleaning and so forth. 
 
Mr Ma said that Hong Kong sports organisations have been facing a shortage of sports venues and facilities for a long time. If the government could consider and adopt the recommendation made by the report, it would help release more idle venues to sport and recreation organisations and subsequently improve the quality of life of its citizens. Mr Ma said he would call for follow-up actions suggested by the study through the Legislative Council.
 
Professor Lau will submit the findings of the study to the related government departments for their reference. 
 

香港浸會大學體育學系劉永松教授今日公佈的研究發現,僅兩成三中小學願意外借運場地予社區團體,遠低於國際水平。學校主要擔心借用場地的時間與教學活動有衝突、潛在的安全威脅及破壞校園環境秩序。劉教授建議,政府及區議會提供財政資助及訂定相關政策,以鼓勵學校借出場地,達至學校社區化的目標。
 
劉永松教授應立法會(體育、演藝、文化及出版)馬逢國議員委託,進行「鼓勵中小學借出閒置體育場地政策之研究調查」,當中包括問卷調查及訪談,以探討香港中小學開放運動場地設施予社區團體的現況及利弊。
 
回覆問卷的138間中小學中,只有23%願意外借運動場地設施,主要的原因是希望促進學校與社區連繫(56%),其次為加強社區和諧發展(29%),以及地盡其用,增加社區運動資源(15%)。劉教授表示,有關比例遠低於國際水平,例如美國的57%、日本的99%及中國內地的29%。
 
願意外借運動場地設施的學校所處理的個案成功申請率為82%,有關學校批准申請的主要原因是對申請團體有一定認識及了解(76%);而不批准申請的個案則是基於保險、法律責任及賠償問題(31%)、保安考慮及人群管理(24%)及擔心閒雜人等進入校舍(15%)等原因。
 
受訪學校對租借運動場地設施予社區團體的憂慮,首要是耗費學校資源及人力(17%),其次為人身安全及法律責任(15%)及保險問題(15%),亦會擔心入校人群品流複雜(14%)。他們認同租借運動場地設施予社區團體的優點,包括促進學校與社區連繫(26%);地盡其用,增加社區運動資源(20%)及推動全民健康運動文化(17%)。
 
至於最能鼓勵學校租借運動場地設施予社區團體使用的建議,主要是財政支援,包括政府對借出場地的學校提供額外資源(24%)、解決保險問題(22%)及出資完善保安工作(15%)。學校期望政府或區議會在過程中能夠全數資助或補貼學校相關費用(29%)、制訂學校租借場地的政策(22%),以及提供租借營運模式作為參考(15%)。
 
劉永松教授指出,現代社會已開始探索,學校作為社區的重要一員,應如何為社區建設與融合作出更多貢獻;因此他建議學校在先滿足校內教育需求的原則下,積極地創造條件以開放場地,服務社會。政府亦應該立法保障學校,例如設立免責條款及提供保險保額保證,以及提供財政資助,讓學校可以應付設施保養及其他衍生的開支,例如保安、清潔等。
 
委託進行研究的立法會議員馬逢國認為,香港的運動團體長期面對場地不足的問題,如果政府能回應報告的建議,將有助釋放學校的閒置場地,租借予體育運動以及有需要的團體使用,提升市民的生活質素。馬議員表示會在立法會跟進研究報告提出的建議。
 
劉教授會將研究報告呈交予相關政府部門作參考。