Secretary for Education concerns students' whole-person development (with photos)

     The Secretary for Education, Mr Michael Suen, today (January 20) continued his district visits, calling on a government primary school in Sham Shui Po to learn about the school's efforts to identify and provide support for needy students and help newly-arrived students adapt to the local community.

     Mr Suen yesterday (January 19) went to North District.

     As well as going to the primary school today, the Secretary for Education also visited the family of one of the pupils.  While expressing his concern for the family, he said he appreciated their determination to strive for a better life.

     During his visit to the Sham Shui Po Government Primary School, Mr Suen was briefed by school head Ms Yick Ka-yee on the school's recent progress on teaching and learning.  He had a sharing session with the teachers and learnt that they would adopt various teaching strategies to suit students' individual needs, aiming at enhancing their motivation to participate in learning in class.

     Mr Suen commended teachers for paying special attention to the learning needs of newly-arrived students in class, and was impressed by their commitment to facilitate these students' early integration into school and the local community by offering them after-school support services ranging from tutorials to home visits.

     Besides, Mr Suen showed appreciation to the school's efforts in providing support of a caring school environment, which made a big difference to the healthy and holistic development of needy students, whether they came from newly-arrived, low-income or cross-boundary families.

     Mr Suen also encouraged the teachers to maintain their zest for the teaching profession and continue their support in helping students both inside and outside the classroom.

     Mr Suen went on to visit the family of one of the pupils.  The pupil has been studying in the school since coming to Hong Kong from the Mainland.

     Mr Suen was delighted to learn that she enjoyed her study, and expressed appreciation towards the school's support to her development in creative art, drawing and Chinese paper cutting art.  With as simple as a pair of scissors in her hand, she could create numerous art pieces.

     The student was given awards for good academic, conduct and service performances.  As she is particularly interested in visual art and mathematics, the school has nominated her to participate in "campus art ambassador scheme", and has given her training to take part in a mathematics contest.

     The Government attaches great importance to education, believing that education can help enhance capacity and strengthen an individual's ability to advance in society and break away from intergenerational poverty.  There are a number of programmes, including "Understanding the Adolescent Project", "PATHS to Adulthood: A Jockey Club Youth Enhancement Scheme" and "The Hong Kong Jockey Club Life Wide Learning Fund" in place in schools that screen and assist children and youth with developmental needs to promote their holistic development.  

     The Government has also launched school-based after-school learning support programmes to encourage schools to work in partnership with non-governmental organisations with rich experience in running support programmes.  Funding is also provided to support community-based projects to establish a service network in the neighbourhood of disadvantaged children.

Ends/Tuesday, January 20, 2009
Issued at HKT 20:15