SED commends teachers at annual presentation ceremony (with photos)

     The Secretary for Education, Mr Eddie Ng, commended teachers for their dedication and commitment in inspiring and guiding students at the "Salute to Teachers 2012 - Teachers' Day and Commendation Certificate Presentation Ceremony" today (September 12).

     "Teachers in Hong Kong not only possess rich subject knowledge and excellent teaching skills. They also have the mission to help students realise their full potential as we all believe that each student has his unique ability to succeed in every way," Mr Ng said.

     Mr Ng said the education reform is progressing steadily with remarkable achievements. He noted that two research studies conducted by McKinsey & Company showed that Hong Kong had one of the world's best-performing school systems as well as one of the 20 most improved education systems, scoring ratings from good to great.

     "All these are the results of the hard work and dedication of our teachers and their devotion and support."

     On implementing the New Academic Structure, Mr Ng said, "The successful launch of the first three-year new senior secondary curriculum is attributable to both the efforts of the senior secondary teachers and those teachers who have, in line with the basic education reform, laid a firm foundation for students in acquiring knowledge, skills, attitudes and values.

     "The encouraging results obtained by students sitting for the first Hong Kong Diploma of Secondary Education Examination underlined the hard work of teachers during all these years."

     On the controversy over the Moral and National Education subject in the community, Mr Ng said he fully understood that teachers, principals and schools had been facing immense pressure. "I would like to express my sincere gratitude to all of you for upholding your professionalism in the best interest of students. During the past few days, the Government has provided an enabling environment for discussion of the Moral and National Education subject so that education matters can be dealt with by the education sector," he said.

     "As Chinese nationals, it is proper and right for us to learn about our own country. While we have full respect for the freedom of expression in the community, the Education Bureau, from a professional point of view and in the best interest of students, disapproves of the act of a class boycott in schools."

     During today's ceremony, about 1,200 teachers from primary schools, secondary schools and kindergartens were awarded with commendation certificates under the Teachers' Commendation Scheme, including about 80 teachers who were commended five times or more. The scheme is in its 17th year, with over 20,000 teachers commended to date.

     Today's event was organised by the Committee on Respect Our Teachers Campaign. Also present at the ceremony were the Permanent Secretary for Education, Mrs Cherry Tse; the Chairman of the Education Commission, Dr Moses Cheng; the Chairman of the Advisory Committee on Teacher Education and Qualifications, Mr Cheung Pak-hong; and the Chairman of the Committee on Respect Our Teachers Campaign, Mr Liu Ah-chuen.

Ends/Wednesday, September 12, 2012
Issued at HKT 19:55