Speech by CS at Education University of HK Foundation Thanksgiving Reception cum Scholarship Presentation Ceremony (English only) (with photo)
Dr Pang Yiu-kai (the Chairman of the Council of the Education University of Hong Kong and the Chairman of the Education University of Hong Kong Foundation), Professor Stephen Cheung Yan-leung (the President of the Education University of Hong Kong), members of the Education University of Hong Kong, distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen,
Good afternoon. It gives me great pleasure to join you today at the Education University of Hong Kong Foundation Thanksgiving Reception cum Scholarship Presentation Ceremony.
EdUHK, formerly known as Hong Kong Institute of Education (HKIEd), came into being on May 27, 2016. However, HKIEd had a long history and impressive track record of some 20 years. With drive, determination and passion for growth, excellence and transformation, the Education University of Hong Kong is the only dedicated academic and training institution for teacher education in Hong Kong. Throughout the past two decades, the University has nurtured numerous outstanding and caring educators and professionals. Its continuous efforts in achieving educational excellence are widely appreciated and globally recognised. In the 2016 Quacquarelli Symonds World University Rankings, it took the second place in Asia and the 12th in the world as the best institution in the subject of education.
The Education University of Hong Kong Foundation, renamed from the HKIEd Foundation set up in December 2014, has also made significant achievements in the past two years. Through its work in fund-raising, alumni relations and community building, it has helped garner strong public support for the strategic and sustainable development of EdUHK.
The Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Government attaches great importance to education. It tops the Government's policy agenda and accounts for 21 per cent (the lion's share) of the Government's total recurrent expenditure. Our financial provision for education in 2017-18 is estimated to be $78.6 billion representing an increase of 30 per cent since the start of the current-term Government in 2012-13. To ensure Hong Kong's long-term competitiveness, we strive to enhance Hong Kong's human capital by enhancing the quality of education, offering more internship and exchange opportunities to students and encouraging the workforce to pursue continuing education.
The Government will implement free quality kindergarten education from the 2017/18 school year. Recurrent expenditure on kindergarten education is expected to increase by around $2.7 billion, and approximately 70 per cent to 80 per cent of subsidised half-day kindergarten places will be free-of-charge. Meanwhile, we have set out to promote STEM education (that is science, technology, engineering and mathematics). Additional resources were provided to primary schools last year for the purpose. For secondary schools, there will also be an additional one-off subsidy of $200,000 per school to support their school-based STEM programmes. To nurture talent at post-secondary education level to meet our social and economic needs, we have decided to regularise the Study Subsidy Scheme for Designated Professions/Sectors from the 2018/19 academic year. About 13 000 students will benefit from the scheme each academic year.
Besides allocating more resources to schools and students, we believe that professional development opportunities for our teaching force are of paramount importance as teachers play a pivotal role in ensuring a high-quality education system. In this regard, the Government will introduce a three-year pilot scheme of paid non-local study leave for teachers. Under the scheme, serving secondary school teachers can take part in specific courses or on-site experiential learning attachment programmes for about one to three months to broaden their perspectives and enrich their experience.
At the same time, we are enlisting the co-operation and expertise of various stakeholder groups to deliver system changes. One of our partners, the Committee on Professional Development of Teachers and Principals (COTAP), has promulgated an overarching strategic plan known as T-excel@hk, which sets out a comprehensive framework for getting the teaching profession geared up through robust professional development strategies. Funding support from the Quality Education Fund is provided for related COTAP projects and initiatives from the 2016/17 school year onwards. One such initiative is the development of a set of standards for the teaching profession to provide clear reference for teacher preparation, continuing professional development (CPD) and school leadership development. In the coming months, local teacher education universities will be invited to give their views on the draft Professional Standards for Teachers of Hong Kong to help refine it.
We would not have made it this far in our pursuit of quality education without our strategic partners. I would like to pay warm tribute to EdUHK for its sterling contribution to teacher education in Hong Kong over the years. As one of the five local teacher education universities, it has participated actively and given us staunch support in various education-related policies and initiatives, including initial teacher training, practicum as well as CPD of serving teachers and school leaders.
Looking ahead, I am confident that the University will build on its strengths and craft an even better future for education in Hong Kong. I wish the University every success in its future endeavours. Last but not least, let me send my warmest congratulations to all the scholarship recipients today. Education is a most worthy cause to pursue and I wish you all the best in achieving your goals.
Ends/Thursday, March 16, 2017
Issued at HKT 16:39
Issued at HKT 16:39