Transcript of remarks by CS at media session (with photos/videos)

     Following is the transcript of remarks by the Chief Secretary for Administration, Mrs Carrie Lam, at a media session at Kwong Wah Hospital this afternoon (July 27):

Reporter: Chief Secretary, you have been trying to play down the controversy on national education, but do you truly believe and wholeheartedly believe that national education will only do good to students in Hong Kong?

Chief Secretary for Administration: It is not a matter of playing down or playing up. I have a duty, as Chief Secretary for Administration, to respond to public concerns and enquiries expressed through the mass media about events and incidents that are of public interest. As far as the Moral and National Education curriculum is concerned, I have said that the introduction of this subject into the school curriculum has broad-based support. The differences in opinion perhaps lie in the use of the teaching materials. But again on this point we have given full flexibility and autonomy to the school management.

     The Education Bureau has issued some guidelines for this particular subject, and the school authorities are given the needed support and the time íV there is a three-year initiation period for individual school management, together with their subject teachers, to draw up the teaching materials to teach this particular subject. So it would not be right, and not quite responsible, for us to put a stop to all the things that have been put in place by these education authorities in full consultation with the school management bodies over the years.

     What I would appeal to is perhaps, when the schools are developing their teaching materials, there should be more consultation at the school level. And that's why, if the parents' concern group want a discussion with the Secretary for Education, I heard through some communication by my colleagues just now that the Secretary for Education is now actively considering the conditions set by the parents' group, so that hopefully a meeting could take place tomorrow. Thank you very much.

(Please also refer to the Chinese portion of the transcript.)

Ends/Friday, July 27, 2012
Issued at HKT 19:20