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LCQ13: Green corners at schools


Following is a question by the Hon Henry Wu and a written reply by the Secretary for Education and Manpower, Professor Arthur K C Li, in the Legislative Council today (June 16):


Regarding the scheme to provide green corners at schools, will the Government inform this Council:

(a) of the total number of schools participating in the scheme so far;

(b) of the details of the green corner facilities of various schools; and

(c) whether it has carried out ongoing assessments to find out if the scheme has achieved the expected objectives; and whether it has reviewed if the schools have been provided with adequate ancillary support in this regard, including teachers and other supplementary software and hardware; if so, of the assessment and review results; if not, the reasons for that?


Madam President,

(a) The green corner is a school building design feature introduced by the Education and Manpower Bureau (EMB) to improve the school environment and to promote environmental protection among students. Since 2001 we have provided green corners in 50 new schools.

(b) A green corner is usually about 30 to 40 square metres large, including features such as planting beds, pot-planting areas, a greenhouse etc., depending on the school premises layout and school sponsoring bodies' requirements. Among the 50 new schools provided with a green corner, 35 feature the provision of planting beds, 14 have pot-planting areas and 15 incorporate a green house.

(c) As the provision of green corners is part of the strategy to promote environmental education, we have not carried out any standalone assessment on the scheme itself. However, through our daily contacts with schools, we can generally gauge whether facilities provided in school building projects can meet school education needs. We observe that most of the schools concerned welcome the setting up of green corners on campus. EMB will continue to take account of the views of school sponsoring bodies, with a view to better ensuring that future green corners meet the needs of the schools concerned.

Apart from including a stronger environmental element in the design of school buildings, the EMB is also committed to promoting environmental education in schools at different stages of learning. Elements of environmental education have been incorporated in 26 school disciplines and schools are encouraged to adopt a whole-school and cross-discipline approach. To support teachers in pursuing environmental education, we update and enhance web-based resources on a regular basis. We also arrange school visits and teacher training programmes, including visits to schools which are successful in promoting environmental education, and encourage and sponsor the organisation of extra-curricular activities in support of environmental education.

At the same time, we promote environmental education among students in close collaboration with various related organisations. We have joined hands, for example, with the Environmental Campaign Committee in organising a number of annual school activities, such as Schools Environmental Award Scheme cum Student Environmental Protection Ambassador Scheme (the number of participating schools increased to 719 in 2003/04 from 220 in 1995/96) and Hong Kong Green School Award (the number of participating schools increased to more than 180 in 2003/04 from 92 in 1999/2000). To further enhance environmental awareness among students through campus greening and organic planting, we have organised the Organic Farms in the City Competition in conjunction with the Environmental Campaign Committee, Environmental Protection Department and Hong Kong Trees Conservation Association; and have also encouraged schools to join the Greening School Subsidy Scheme organised by the Leisure and Cultural Services Department.

In sum, EMB is committed to implementing environmental education and providing schools and teachers with support and ancillary facilities, including the provision of green corners to improve the school environment and to promote environmental protection among students.

Ends/Wednesday, June 16, 2004


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