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SED starts official visit to Melbourne (with photos)

     The Secretary for Education, Mr Michael Suen, began his official visit to Melbourne, Australia, today (December 1) where he attended the 2008 International Education Leaders・Dialogue.

     Speaking at the opening dinner this evening (Australian time), Mr Suen said that Hong Kong considers it important to develop leadership and professionalism among education practitioners in order to sustain reform improvements.

     :We will share our experiences in the next two days about strengthening school leadership, improving on-site support for schools and enhancing the assessment literacy of all teachers,; he said.

     Earlier in the day in Melbourne, Mr Suen visited the Sunshine North Primary School, a Victorian Government school established in 1956.

     The school has a robust programme for students with special education needs.  Mr Suen learnt from the principal that as 65% of the students have a Vietnamese background, the school had also built in the teaching of English as a second language.

     Mr Suen shared with the school principal Hong Kong・s experience in providing integrated education for children with special needs.

     Mr Suen also visited the University of Melbourne, which has over 150 years of academic excellence.  He called on the Vice Chancellor, Professor Glyn Davis, to exchange views on the enhancement of a stimulating and invigorating learning experience for students.  Hong Kong is Australia・s sixth largest source of international students.  Last year, there were around 16,000 Hong Kong students in Australia.

     Speaking at  a roundtable luncheon hosted by the Provost, Professor Peter McPhee, Mr Suen said he was glad to share with academics and professionals the latest developments in Hong Kong・s education system, including progress in implementing the New Senior Secondary academic structure and developing Hong Kong as a regional education centre by attracting outstanding students from around the world to study in Hong Kong.

     Mr Suen then visited the Victorian College of Arts, which offers training in film and the performing arts, to see how the college helps prepare students for careers as professional artists.

     Later, Mr Suen called on Ms Bronwyn Pike, Minister for Education, Department of Education and Early Childhood Development, State Government of Victoria, to talk about the strong co-operation between Hong Kong and Australia.

     Mr Suen ended the first day of his visit by attending the opening dinner of the 2008 International Education Leaders・ Dialogue.  The dialogue will open tomorrow (December 2) for key education leaders to share their experiences in the challenges of school reform.

Ends/Monday, December 1, 2008
Issued at HKT 18:50


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