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Secretary for Education visits North District (with photos)

     The Secretary for Education, Mr Michael Suen, visited Fanling and Sheung Shui this afternoon (January 19) to see the development of North District and its heritage conservation works.

     Accompanied by District Officer (North) Mr Johann Wong, Mr Suen visited a secondary school to observe teachers and students' school life.  He met three shop owners to learn more about their concerns about social issues.  He also visited the Tang Chung Ling Ancestral Hall in Lung Yeuk Tau, Fanling, to look at the well-maintained traditional Chinese architecture, and also met District Council members to exchange views on various issues of concern.

     Mr Suen first stopped at Tin Ka Ping Secondary School. After a short briefing on the school's latest developments by School Supervisor Mr Tin Wing-sin and Principal Dr Yuen Pong-yiu, Mr Suen was taken to a Secondary Five class and observed students having their Commerce lesson in English.  Delighted by students' active participation in class activities and exchanging ideas in English, he encouraged them to listen and speak more in English and gain more exposure to the language. This would help them achieve proficiency in both Chinese and English, with the objective of sustaining Hong Kong's image as an international city.

     Tin Ka Ping Secondary School, which was founded in 1994, is an aided co-educational CMI secondary school.  In a meeting with teacher representatives, Mr Suen said he was pleased to learn that the school had been devoting much effort to enriching the English-learning environment, promoting Reading to Learn and strengthening preparation for the New Senior Secondary academic structure.  The school strived for whole-person development of students, and teachers were positive towards supporting students with special educational needs.

     Mr Suen then visited to Tang Chung Ling Ancestral Hall in Lung Yeuk Tau, Fanling.  He said he was impressed by how the authentically preserved building, now known as the Lung Yeuk Tau Tang clan's ancestral hall, reflected the memories and stories of the past.  It was erected in the early 16th century to honour the founding ancestor, Tang Chung Ling.  It was declared a monument in November 1997.  The Tang clan is one of the five clans in the New Territories, and its ancestral hall is exquisitely decorated with fine wood carvings, polychrome plaster mouldings, ceramic sculptures and murals of auspicious Chinese motifs, showing the superb craftsmanship of the old days.

     Mr Suen later went to San Hong Street in Sheung Shui's Shek Wu Hui where he met three shop owners and saw their businesses.  He said he appreciated their continuing efforts to serve their local communities during the financial turmoil.  He took the chance to purchase some daily commodities and candies.  One of the shop owners thanked the Government for adopting measures to encourage the public to spend.  Shek Wu Hui has been a major shopping and business centre in Sheung Shui since the 1930s and the old market atmosphere remains.

     Mr Suen ended the visit by meeting District Council members and exchanging views with them on education issues and other local concerns.

Ends/Monday, January 19, 2009
Issued at HKT 19:38


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