SED visits school to support Secondary One Bridging Programme (with photos)
KTLS is one of the successful applicants of the Quality Education Fund (QEF) for conducting activities under the "Joyful@School" Campaign. The objectives of the Campaign include enhancing students’ ability to cope with adversities, reinforcing protective factors that promote mental health, identifying and supporting vulnerable junior secondary students at an early stage, raising teachers’ and parents’ awareness of students’ resilience and improving adult supporters’ follow-up skills.
Today's Secondary One Bridging Programme is one of the school's key events. Led and supported by the principal, veteran teachers and senior students, the newcomers participated in various activities to learn more about their school culture, environment and school life as well as their teachers and schoolmates. The programme also helps instill positive thinking and a spirt of sharing in the students. The highlight of the programme was collage creation, in which over 100 students wrote down their aspirations, put their colourful handprints together and pledged mutual acceptance and support.
"The Government is very concerned about the mental wellness of young people. We would like to cultivate adolescents' positive values and attitude towards life, and enhance their self-confidence and skills for coping with adversities through different kinds of projects, activities, talks and supporting resources," Mr Yeung said after the event.
"In April 2017, the QEF Steering Committee adjusted the application arrangement and raised the grant ceiling for mini-applications under the 'Joyful@School' Campaign to $200,000. I am pleased with the positive response from schools and non-governmental organisations. Within a few months, the QEF has received more than 400 applications. Everyone is enthusiastically designing suitable mental health activities for students," he added.
The applicants plan to conduct "Joyful@School" activities in various periods starting from the 2017/18 school year. The QEF will complete the vetting procedures as soon as possible to cater for the needs of the schools and their students.
According to the Final Report of the Committee on Prevention of Student Suicides (Committee) published in November 2016, student suicides are mostly brought about by multiple interacting factors, such as mental health issues, psychological factors, family/peer relationships, family/school adjustment and academic stress.
The Education Bureau (EDB) and related Government departments have been implementing the recommendations of the Committee. In the 2017/18 school year, a number of key measures will be introduced or enhanced for primary and secondary school students:
- Starting from the 2017/18 school year, the Learning Support Grant for public sector ordinary primary and secondary schools will cover students with mental illness, so that schools will have additional resources to provide support for these students.
- The Food and Health Bureau, in collaboration with the EDB, the Hospital Authority (HA) and the Social Welfare Department, has launched the two-year pilot scheme "Student Mental Health Support Scheme", with nine schools participating in the 2016/17 school year. In the 2017/18 school year, the scheme will be extended to other eight schools, supporting a total of 17 schools.
- Through the "Education Development Fund – University Support Programme", the EDB has invited the Department of Psychiatry, University of Hong Kong, to collaborate with schools in developing mental health promotion programmes, named collectively as the "Mindshift+ Educational Programme". With a total of 15 participating secondary schools, relevant activities will be launched in schools starting from September 2017.
- By the end of August 2017, the EDB will publish the "Teacher's Handbook on Understanding and Supporting Students with Mental Illness", which was jointly developed by the EDB and the HA, in order to enhance the competence of schools in identifying and supporting students with mental illness (including depressive disorders, anxiety disorders and psychotic disorders).
- The EDB will launch the Professional Development Programme of Mental Health in September 2017, including elementary training for teachers at large and in-depth training for designated teachers.
- The Department of Health will launch a designated website targeting secondary school students. Tying in with school events, its content will be updated monthly to explore different developmental challenges. Videos, motion graphics and infographics will be used to promulgate mental health and well-being.
- To foster a culture of multi-faceted excellence, the Government has set up the Multi-faceted Excellence Scholarship to support universities and tertiary institutions in admitting local students that excel in sports, arts and/or community services into undergraduate programmes. In 2017/18, an additional $200 million has been allocated to the scholarship and the number of beneficiaries each year will be doubled to around 40.
In addition, the EDB will continue to review the relevant parts of the education system so as to provide appropriate support and cater for the developmental and other needs of students.
Ends/Thursday, August 24, 2017
Issued at HKT 16:41
Issued at HKT 16:41