The Education Department today (June 20) introduced a comprehensive set of Basic Education Curriculum Guide for use by primary and secondary schools, marking an important step in curriculum development for the 21st century.
Introducing the guide entitled "Basic Education Curriculum Guide - Building on Strengths" developed by the Curriculum Development Council at a press conference today (June 20), the Director of Education, Mr Matthew Cheung Kin-chung, said: "Basic education is the key cornerstone for effective learning and whole-person development for our young generation."
"Basic education provides the solid foundation for our students to learn, to think, to realise their potential and to equip themselves to meet the challenges of an ever advancing knowledge-based society," he said.
"The comprehensive guide introduced today underlines the substantial professional support on all fronts to curriculum development. It is also part of the series of support measures we provide to schools and teachers in taking forward curriculum reform.
"The guide offers teachers and school heads an indispensable and handy tool with the necessary know-how to realise the aims of education and curriculum development in the classroom," he said.
Reviewing the progress on curriculum development over the past year, Mr Cheung said that solid headway had been made as witnessed by the increasingly enthusiastic response from frontline teachers.
"More and more teachers and school heads are adapting the central curriculum to the needs of their students and adopting effective learning and teaching practices. The is most encouraging," he said.
Mr Cheung noted that much had been and would continue to be done to support teachers in curriculum development. For the 2002-03 school year alone, more than $115 million had been earmarked for the purpose.
These measures include:
* Implementation of seed projects involving 310 schools and 109 teachers this school year and another 169 schools plus 94 teachers for the next school year;
* Training courses catering for more than 12 000 teachers in the next school year, costing some $24 million;
* Publication of parents' pamphlets in September this year;
* Production of teaching resources;
* An additional graduate teacher to lead curriculum development for each primary school in the public sector for a period of five years, starting from this September (costing $87 million in 2002-03); and
* Expanding support services on school-based curriculum development from 106 primary schools this year to 200 primary schools next year.
Comprising a series of 15 booklets, the Basic Education Curriculum Guide covers different areas for action in schools including the four key tasks of moral and civic education, reading to learn, project learning and information technology for interactive learning.
Other important topics are school policy on assessment, life-wide learning, school library development, meaningful homework and interfaces with different levels of schooling. The new guide replaces the Guide to the Primary 1 to 6 Curriculum and the part on junior secondary level (Secondary 1 to 3) of the Guide to the Secondary 1 to 5 Curriculum which was published in 1993. It aims to provide:
* Recommendations on a central school curriculum, time allocation and flexible timetabling which all schools are encouraged to adopt at primary and junior secondary levels;
* Suggested actions in school curriculum planning, learning and teaching as well as assessment to improve the quality of education and the necessary school-based adaptations, building on the strengths of Hong Kong schools and needs of students;
* Good practices in authentic school contexts; and
* Opportunities for reflection by schools, heads and teachers
"The guide recognises the vital role of parents in the learning and development process of their children. Specifically, the booklet on meaningful homework assists both teachers and parents in using homework positively to help their children learn better. Indeed, the booklet is an useful tool for parents."
A series of seminars will be held on June 21 and 25 to introduce the guide to primary and secondary school heads and teachers. The guide will be distributed to schools in early July and the copy will also be uploaded onto the Curriculum Development Institute website at http://cd.ed.gov.hk
The guide will also be available for sale at the Government Publications Centre.
End/Thursday, June 20, 2002