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Speech by CE at Foundation Stone Laying Ceremony of Kellett School (English only)(with photos/video)

     Following is the speech by the Chief Executive, Mr Donald Tsang, at the Foundation Stone Laying Ceremony of the Kowloon Bay Campus of Kellett School today (May 10):

Principal McDonald, distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen,

     I am delighted to join you for the Foundation Stone Laying Ceremony of Kellett School's new campus.

     Kellett School has been rooted in Hong Kong since 1976. It was established by families who had come to Hong Kong, fell in love with our city and cherished its values, vibrancy and lifestyle.

     Over more than 30 years, the school has been committed to enhancing Hong Kong's way of life and improving the prospects of our future generations. Today, Kellett School is an important member of our international school sector.

     The Government is committed to developing a vibrant network of international schools in Hong Kong, which underpins our aspirations as Asia's world city and a regional education hub.

     In 2009, the Government allocated four greenfield sites to international school operators. This site is one of them. Its prime location in Kowloon Bay will help to serve a wide catchment area and meet strong demand for quality education. The school's expansion will provide an additional 600 international primary and secondary school places.

     I am pleased that the Legislative Council Finance Committee recently approved government provision of a $203 million interest-free loan to Kellett School for this project.

     The Government will continue to support the expansion of our international school sector. We shall invite Expressions of Interest in the middle of this year for at least two additional vacant school premises, including one on Hong Kong Island and one in Kowloon. All eligible interested parties are welcome to participate in the exercise.

     Significantly, Kellett School is the first international school of its scale to set foot in East Kowloon. In my Policy Address last year, I spoke about the Government's plans to transform this part of our city as a premier business district of Hong Kong.

     Kowloon Bay itself has been transformed and upgraded considerably over the past decade. I am not just referring to a well-known shopping centre close by, but also to the transport infrastructure and overall standard of living.

     Kellett School shares our vision to inject energy into the district. The world-class facilities and quality design of this new campus will, I believe, complement the development of the immediate surroundings as well as East Kowloon as a whole.

     I also take this opportunity to encourage other international school operators to consider setting up campuses on this side of Victoria Harbour. That way they can join Kellett School in capitalising on the opportunities and contributing to the development of East Kowloon.

     Ladies and gentlemen, this Foundation Stone Laying Ceremony is an important event in the evolution of Kellett School.

     Upon completion, the new campus will operate both primary and secondary classes starting from the 2013-14 school year. It will bring students together in a large and modern school setting and it will also cater to those with special education needs.

     I look forward to seeing Kellett School blending quality British-style education with the dynamism of East Kowloon. I am sure that Kellett School will, as always, cultivate active partnerships with local schools and community groups in the District.

     I congratulate Kellett School on successfully taking forward this ambitious project and wish you every success with the new Kowloon Bay campus.

     Thank you very much.

Ends/Thursday, May 10, 2012
Issued at HKT 12:57


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