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QEF announces results and new mode of application

The following is issued on behalf of the Quality Education Fund Steering Committee:

     On the advice of the Quality Education Fund (QEF) Steering Committee, the Trustee of the QEF, the Permanent Secretary for Education and Manpower Incorporated, has approved grants amounting to around $168 million for 555 applications in the ninth call.

     The approved applications include 291 made under the fund's designated themes "Addressing diverse learning needs", "Enhancing partnership with schools' stakeholders" and "Aligning assessment with curriculum reform" and other education initiatives, and 264 on enhancement of information technology (IT) infrastructure.

     Announcing the application results today (June 2), the Chairman of the QEF Steering Committee, Mr Pang Yiu-kai, said, "Quite a lot of the applications are related to the priority themes. These projects aim at facilitating the healthy and all-round development of students with diverse learning needs and developing assessment programmes and tools that align with the curriculum reform and match with the learning targets of the school curriculum.

     "Other innovative projects address the prevailing needs of the education sector," added Mr Pang. "For example, there is a project which aims at enhancing education workers' awareness of and skills in coping with stress at work through organising staff development workshops and providing counselling services. There is also a project that helps students who suffer from Internet or cyber addiction through provision of training and therapeutic treatment."

     Mr Pang pointed out that as one of the measures to relieve teachers' workload, the QEF would adopt a year-round mode of application with effect from September 2006 and the assessment procedures would be streamlined so that applications with grants sought not exceeding $200,000 would be processed within three months.

     With regard to the funding scope, applicants can submit an application for a project that builds on the good practices of previously funded QEF projects or an innovative project as before. In addition, they can submit another application on the special initiatives designated by the fund to address prevailing educational priorities. For the coming school year, the two special initiatives are "Wellness programmes for teachers" and "Care for pre-primary children".

     School applicants will be required to produce, upon approval of grants, documentary proof of endorsement by the School Management Committee or the Incorporated Management Committee that the application aligns with the school development needs and that the teachers can cope with the work. Applications have to be submitted electronically through the Electronic Project Management System. Details on the new mode of application will be uploaded to the QEF website ( on September 1, 2006.

     Applicants are reminded to observe the application rules and guidelines. In the ninth call, there are applications with over-estimated budgets and missing justifications for budget items. The principle of economy and cost effectiveness of expenditure should closely be observed by applicants. There are also some applications which do not follow the page limit requirement. In future, breaching of such requirement will render the application disqualified.

     The QEF was established in 1998 with a capital of $5 billion to support community initiatives that promote quality education in Hong Kong. Since its establishment, the fund has supported 6,357 applications with grants amounting to around $3.4 billion. The balance of the fund at the end of February 2006 was about $5.4 billion.

Ends/Friday, June 2, 2006
Issued at HKT 11:27