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SED welcomes submission of textbooks and e-learning resources report

     The Secretary for Education, Mr Michael Suen, today (October 22) welcomed the submission of a report by the Working Group on Textbooks and E-learning Resources Development.

     Mr Suen said, "The Government is committed to developing e-learning. This is in line with the rationale of the education reform. Students will learn how to learn which will enhance their effectiveness in learning and nurture their whole-person development. We will carefully consider the working group's recommendations on how we can encourage and support schools to make good use of e-learning resources.

     "On the other hand, printed textbooks have their own value as learning materials. The Government will also consider the recommendations of the report having regard to parents' concerns about the levels of textbook prices and the quality assurance of textbooks."

     Mr Suen thanked all working group members for their hard work in the past year. They have actively made comments and suggestions on the development of textbooks and e-learning resources. The working group comprised information technology experts, principals, teachers, publishers, community members and parents.

     The Chairman of the working group and Under Secretary for Education, Mr Kenneth Chen, said that the working group had held nine meetings since its establishment in October last year. Their recommendations have given due consideration to the views of various stakeholders and support for teachers and schools.

     The major recommendations of the working group report are:

* Launching a three-year "Promoting e-learning" pilot scheme in 20-30 primary and secondary schools in the 2010/11 school year.

* Expediting and strengthening the development of the "Depository of Curriculum-based Learning and Teaching Resources" at the primary and junior secondary levels with additional resources from the 2009/10 school year.

* Disbursing a one-off grant to all primary and secondary schools in the 2009/10 school year for purchasing e-learning resources in the next three years.

* Setting up an e-commerce platform for e-learning resources and an on-line community for teachers at the Hong Kong Education City website.

* Debundling textbooks and learning and teaching resources for pricing from the 2010/11 school year.

* Changing textbooks' "three-year rule of no revision" to a "five-year rule of no revision" from the 2010/11 school year.

    Mr Chen said, "The successful development of e-learning depends on a change in teaching modes by teachers and development and supply of diversified e-learning resources.

   "I hope that the outcomes of the e-learning pilot scheme will provide us with an insight into how best to apply good e-learning practices to other schools. Other recommendations of the report aim at facilitating the market development of quality and diversified e-learning resources. Meanwhile, the development of diversified e-learning resources suitable for Hong Kong needs depends on the tripartite collaboration among schools, the publishing sector and the information technology sector.

   "Regarding printed textbooks, debundling textbooks and learning and teaching resources for pricing is in line with the 'user pays' principle and teachers will be able to obtain appropriate teaching materials of their own choice."

    Mr Chen said that the "five-year rule of no revision" is recommended as it takes three years to complete a key learning stage and another two years to revise and review a published textbook for that particular learning stage. Moreover, the prerequisite requirement is that there must be strong justifications for any revision.

    Other recommendations of the report include:

* Considering the setting up of a steering committee to supervise the implementation of the "Promoting e-learning" pilot scheme and to make recommendations to the Government on long-term strategies on using e-learning resources in accordance with the outcomes of the pilot scheme.

* Encouraging and supporting the establishment of a cross-sector working group which will endeavour to promote collaboration and partnership among schools, the publishing sector and the information technology sector with a view to enhancing the effectiveness of the "Promoting e-learning" pilot scheme.

* Conducting in-depth studies into the intellectual property right issue related to using e-learning resources and possible impact on students' health due to frequent use of such resources in order to formulate strategies and support measures.

* Enhancing communication with parent organisations to collect their views and suggestions on textbook quality and prices and reflecting them to textbook publishers.

* Encouraging schools to launch various kinds of school-based textbook recycling programmes.

   For details of the working group report, please visit the Education Bureau website: (

   The web link of the executive summary of the working group report is at (

Ends/Thursday, October 22, 2009
Issued at HKT 14:45


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