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LCQ7: Use of information technology in schools

     Following is a question by the Hon Samson Tam Wai-ho and a written reply by the Secretary for Education, Mr Michael Suen, in the Legislative Council today (June 22):


     Regarding the promotion of the development of information technology (IT) in schools in Hong Kong, will the Government inform this Council:

(a) whether it knows the respective numbers of school IT assistants employed by primary and secondary schools in Hong Kong last year, with a breakdown by salary group; as well as the respective average numbers of school IT assistant vacancies and their percentages in the total numbers of such posts; and

(b) given that the Government plans to implement debundling of textbooks and teaching/learning materials for pricing in the new school year commencing in September this year, schools can choose to produce their own teaching materials to meet their teaching needs, whether the authorities will thus allocate additional resources for schools to recruit additional IT staff or purchase additional IT equipment, so as to step up promotion of the development of e-Learning; if they will, of the details; if not, the reasons for that?



(a) The Education Bureau has been disbursing a Composite Information Technology Grant to all public sector schools at an annual rate ranging from $155,000 to $484,000, depending on the school type and number of approved classes. The grant can be used in the following areas:

(i) Internet connectivity and Internet security services;
(ii) Employment of technical support personnel or hire of technical support services from service providers;
(iii) Purchase of IT-related consumables;
(iv) Extension of opening hours for school's IT facilities;
(v) Upgrading and replacement of school's IT facilities;
(vi) Arrangement of maintenance services for school's IT facilities procured by government funds; and
(vii) Purchase of digital resource materials for learning and teaching, including annual subscription or renewal fees for licences and software, and other charges for on-line learning resources.

     Under the principle of school-based management, schools can flexibly deploy their resources in any of the above areas to meet their operational needs. As far as technical support services are concerned, schools may engage one or more IT technicians either through direct recruitment or service procurement. Since schools do not have a fixed establishment of IT technicians, we cannot provide their vacancy statistics.

(b) We always emphasise that textbooks produced by publishers are not the only sources of teaching materials. Over the years, the Education Bureau has produced a lot of online teaching resources. Besides, there is a vast collection of teaching resources on the Hong Kong Education City website. In the coming year, we will integrate these teaching resources into a one-stop online platform to facilitate teachers' use. We will also enhance our production of teaching materials to meet the needs of teachers. Our ultimate target is to facilitate teachers' preparation of teaching materials appropriate to the schools' circumstances and students' needs. Current development does not suggest that the process would involve additional resource implications in terms of IT equipment or personnel.

     With regard to the promotion of e-Learning in schools, the Education Bureau has started implementing a three-year pilot scheme since this school year on e-Learning aiming to explore and develop various e-Learning solutions. We will formulate long-term strategy on the implementation of e-Learning in schools based on the outcomes of this pilot scheme.

Ends/Wednesday, June 22, 2011
Issued at HKT 12:20


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