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LCQ 14: IT courses under Continuing Education Fund


Following is a question by the Hon Sin Chung-kai and a written reply by the Secretary for Education and Manpower, Professor Arthur K C Li, in the Legislative Council today (November 24):


Regarding the Continuing Education Fund (CEF), will the Government inform this Council:

(a) of the criteria for approving individual information technology courses for inclusion in the list of courses eligible for reimbursement under CEF;

(b) whether it will consider including under the coverage of CEF those training courses related to the professional skills in information technology, such as information security, systems audit and project management; if it will, of the details of the criteria and procedures for assessing the relevant courses; if not, the reasons for that; and

(c) whether it will review and revise the mode of operation of CEF, such as adopting the practice of the SME Training Fund which does not have a list of subsidised courses, so as to encourage more people to pursue continuing education and increase the operational flexibility of CEF?

Reply :

Madam President,

(a) We have invited persons in the relevant fields to lay down the competency requirements for "reimbursable courses" for each economic and generic skill sector covered under the CEF. Any course, including IT courses, meeting the stipulated competency requirements are eligible to apply for enlisting on the list of "reimbursable course". Although IT is not included as an independent sector, IT courses are already covered under most of the other sectors under the CEF.

(b) There are already courses in information security, systems audit and project management on the list of "reimbursable course". Like any another courses eligible under the CEF, these courses are required to meet the stipulated competency requirements to be eligible to be enlisted.

(c) We regularly review the mode of operation of the CEF to ensure its effective operation and to achieve the purpose of its establishment. We have reservation on the proposal of not maintaining a list of "reimbursable courses". We would like to set out clearly the courses eligible for subsidy under the stipulated sectors of the Fund and to have them regulated to ensure that the limited fund is used in a meaningful manner. Maintaining a list of eligible courses enables us to achieve this purpose and also let those wishing to pursue continuing education be clear about the courses eligible. We consider that the present arrangement is conducive to ensuring the effective operation of the CEF.

Ends/Wednesday, November 24, 2004


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