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HK Students head to Mainland for National Education (with photos/video)

    The Chief Secretary for Administration, Mr Henry Tang, and the Deputy Director of the Liaison Office of the Central People's Government in the HKSAR, Mr Li Gang, officiated at the launching ceremony of the "Delegation of Hong Kong Students National Education Programme Series" today (December 10).

     The Hong Kong Students National Education Programme Series, coordinated by the EDB, aims to consolidate the efforts of various community sectors and Government departments in organising  Hong Kong students' exchange activities on the Mainland. These large scale activities are organised continuously with student representatives drawn from different sectors with a view to strengthening youngsters' recognition of their national identity and enhancing their knowledge of the Mainland through personal experience.

     Speaking at the ceremony, the head of the delegation and the Secretary for Education, Mr Michael Suen, said, "The Chief Executive pointed out in the 2007 Policy Address that 'the HKSAR Government will make every effort to promote national education'. To achieve this mission, we should provide students with opportunities to gain first-hand experience about the current situation of the Mainland."

     "The Education Bureau (EDB) organised these exchange activities in Beijing in conjunction with the Liaison Office of the Central People's Government in the HKSAR and 12 organisations and bodies. Through these activities, over 1,000 students and teachers have a chance to learn about the richness of Chinese culture and see the development and progress of the motherland. They can also have a better understanding of the people's sentiments and happenings on the Mainland via contacts and exchanges with Mainland students," he added.

     A flag presentation ceremony was held at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre today to mark the launch of the Hong Kong Students National Education Programme Series. The deputy head of delegation and the Permanent Secretary for Education, Mr Raymond Wong, representatives from the Liaison Office and members of the delegation, including deputies of the National People's Congress, delegates of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference and representatives of sub-groups under the delegation, also attended today's ceremony.

     About 190 members of the delegation are senior secondary students and teachers who participated in the 11th phase of the EDB's Award Scheme for Hong Kong Student Leaders: National Education Course. The course aims to strengthen students' understanding of current developments on the Mainland and to enhance their national identity through their own experience and interaction with Mainland students. Upon completion of the course, Hong Kong students are encouraged to take a leading role in promoting national education at schools.

     Members of the delegation will start attending seminars and courses in Beijing on December 20. They will also visit schools for exchange programmes and participate in tours, including a visit to China's manned space flight technology centre to have dialogues with scientists or astronauts which will allow students to better understand the nation's development of space flight technology in recent years. In addition, they will attend the flag-raising ceremony at  Tiananmen Square to experience the solemn atmosphere of the ceremony, and visit sites and facilities for the Olympic Games to learn more about preparations for the Games.

     Mr Suen and  guests will meet with members of the delegation at the  Great Hall of the People in Beijing on December 24.
     To enhance their knowledge of the Mainland, members of the delegation will also attend courses on the Mainland's political system, education system, economic development, development in rural areas as well as the "Basic Law" and "One Country, Two Systems" in Hong Kong. The delegation will also visit renowned universities on the Mainland including Tsinghua University and  Peking University.

     The EDB has been organising National Education Courses since 2004. So far, about 1,900 students and teachers have participated in exchange activities on the Mainland.

Ends/Monday, December 10, 2007
Issued at HKT 19:43


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