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Transcript of Secretary for Education after attending radio programme

Following is a transcript of the Secretary of Education, Mr Michael Suen's, media session after attending a radio programme this (October 20) morning :

Reporter: Any plans to privatize the universities?

Secretary for Education: I want to clarify that there are no plans to privatize any university as such. At the radio interview earlier,  we discussed about the future direction of higher education in Hong Kong, I mentioned that privatization of universities or private universities were options for us to consider for the future but I must stress that there are at the moment no plans insofar as the government is concerned.

Reporter:  Is the government going to review that?

Secretary for Education:  I think it's too early to talk about criteria. We've got no plans.

Reporter:  For mother tongue teaching, any plans to review it?

Secretary for Education: I think for the medium of instruction, it is something, which is well worth giving it a second thought.  Hong Kong is an international city.  We've got to produce graduates who can master both our mother tongue and also English in order to enable us to continue to be Asia's world city.  And so in this particular regard, I think it's important for us to cultivate in secondary schools the atmosphere and culture to speak more English so that it would enable them (students) to better grasp the ability to absorb knowledge in English.

Reporter: How will the government help?

Secretary for Education: I think we have already introduced NET (Native-speaking English Teachers) in schools, which are using Chinese as their medium of instruction.  It is producing some results but I want to see better results.

(Please also refer to the Chinese portion of the transcript.)

Ends/Saturday, October 20, 2007
Issued at HKT 15:12


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