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Life-wide Learning Fund to give schools greater flexibility

    Schools receiving the Hong Kong Jockey Club (HKJC) Life-wide Learning Fund will, from the 2005-06 school year, enjoy 100% flexibility to help students with real financial needs and provide them with more life-wide learning opportunities.

     The Executive Director of Charities of HKJC, Mr William Yiu, said the Club had been very active in promoting holistic development of young people. "Our donation for setting up the HKJC Life-Wide Learning Fund is aimed at helping less financially able students participate in life-wide learning activities," Mr Yiu said.

     "This year, the Club has enhanced the scheme by giving schools more discretionary flexibility to use their total allocation to subsidise other needy students.  This not only allows schools more flexibility, but also facilitates student applications, so that ultimately more needy students can benefit," he said.

     Under the previous arrangement, apart from subsidising financially needy students, schools had the discretionary flexibility to use 10% of the sum for ˇ§other needy studentsˇ¨ to join life-wide learning activities.

     After taking into account schools' views, HKJC has decided to raise the discretionary flexibility to 100%.

     The Chief Curriculum Development Officer (Life-wide Learning & Library) of the Education and Manpower Bureau, Mr Stephen Yip Yam-wing, said that the new measure would help needy students participate in life-wide learning activities more effectively. ˇ§In order to introduce this new measure and to encourage sharing of good practices, the bureau will organise seminars in mid-September for participating schools,ˇ¨ he said.

     Set up in 2002 with about $140 million from the HKJC Charities Trust, the fund aims to support needy Primary Four to Secondary Three students to participate in life-wide learning programmes.

     In view of students' different family backgrounds, schools may set their own rules to assess the eligibility of "financial needs". In general, schools would give priority to students who are receiving full grant from the Student Financial Assistance Agency or the Comprehensive Social Security Assistance Scheme, and those recommended by teachers.

     In the past three years, more than 1,100 schools accepted the fund each year and it is estimated that 100,000 eligible students have been receiving assistance through the Fund every year.

Ends/Wednesday, August 31, 2005
Issued at HKT 14:56


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