Following is a speech by the Secretary for Education and Manpower, Mrs Fanny Law, at the third Quality Education Fund Projects Exposition today (March 9):
Mr Koo, Mr Cheung, school heads and teachers and students, ladies and gentlemen,
Since its establishment in early 1998, the Quality Education Fund (QEF) has allocated a total of $1 550 million to finance over 2 700 projects. This extra funding has injected new strength into the education sector, enabling the front-line educators to realize their ideals to the benefits of tens of thousands of pupils. Although implementing QEF projects means additional workload for teachers, it is a source of great satisfaction to teachers when the projects achieve the desired results.
There are a total of 278 primary and secondary schools, kindergartens and universities participating in today's QEF Projects Exposition. The 462 projects on exhibition represent the fruits of the painstaking efforts of the school heads and teachers, bearing the mark of their zeal for education and their love for their students. It is indeed gratifying to know that we have in Hong Kong such a large number of educators with ideals and enthusiasm. I would like to take this opportunity to pay tribute to the school heads, teachers and all other people concerned who have lent their unfailing support to the QEF.
The assessment of the applications for the Fourth Round of Allocations has commenced. We have received over 3 600 applications requesting grants totalling $3 676 million, which break our record of the past three years. This is clear evidence that the QEF receives enthusiastic support from the education sector. As we are also in the process of implementing various education reform initiatives, I do hope that the QEF Steering Committee will, during the assessment process, take into account the workload arising from the QEF projects and allocate additional manpower for schools so that teachers will not be overburdened. I would also like to thank members of the Steering Committee for their untiring efforts in assessing applications and evaluating the effectiveness of funded projects. They have indeed contributed significantly to the promotion of quality education.
Throughout the past three years or so, the QEF has achieved much success in terms of improving the learning and teaching environment, enhancing the effectiveness of learning and the promotion of IT in education. Their efforts have led to a wave of bottom-up reforms in the school sector. Teachers, riding the crest of this wave of reforms, have demonstrated the true spirit of professional autonomy and fostered a culture of collaboration and exchanges among themselves. In the coming year, we will redouble our efforts, drawing experiences from successful projects, and disseminate the good practices in teaching and learning to benefit more students.
I am honoured to be here today to officiate at the Opening Ceremony of the third QEF Projects Exposition and to see the fruits of your labour. I hope that parents and the community will show greater concern for education and take the initiative to know more about quality education. I also hope that they will collaborate with educators to promote the culture of quality education, to enable our new generation to enjoy learning, communicate effectively, develop creativity and a sense of commitment.
End/Friday, March 9, 2001