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SED concludes his official visit to the US and Canada (with photos)

     The Secretary for Education (SED), Mr Eddie Ng Hak-kim, today (March 16, New York time) concluded his duty visit to the United States (US) and Canada as constructive in promoting the latest development of education in Hong Kong, including the successful implementation of the new senior secondary curriculum and the qualification of the Hong Kong Diploma of Secondary Education (HKDSE) being recognised by post-secondary institutions worldwide. It also enhanced the exchange between Hong Kong and the two countries in pursuit of opportunities for further educational and institutional collaborations.

     Earlier on Mr Ng led a Hong Kong delegation to continue its last-day visit to New York, where the delegates visited the Teachers College of the Columbia University. The College is the oldest and largest graduate school of education in the US.

     Mr Ng said, "A quality teaching force is the key to the quality of education. That's why the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Government has made every effort to improve teaching training after the return to the Motherland."

     "In addition to improving the training for prospective teachers, we have also promoted the continuing professional development (CPD) for in-service teachers and principals. This includes a target of at least 150 hours of CPD over a three-year cycle. Over the years, our efforts have come to fruition."

     "Nonetheless, we should not be complacent and stop there. In this connection, the Budget announced last month has proposed a visionary initiative to inject an additional HK$480 million into the HKSAR Government Scholarship Fund?to set up scholarships for outstanding Hong Kong students to take degree courses or teacher training programmes in prestigious universities outside Hong Kong," he added.

     "It is expected that about 20 scholarships will be awarded each year. Students who receive the awards must undertake to teach in Hong Kong upon graduation for at least two years or a period equivalent to the duration of receiving the scholarships."

     The President of the Teachers College of the Columbia University, Professor Susan Fuhrman, expressed support for the new initiative, saying that would be a wonderful approach to attract elites to the teaching profession. She looked forward to seeing outstanding Hong Kong students further their studies in the College.

     The delegation then met with senior representatives of the Institute of International Education and the World Education Services, updating them on the successful implementation of the new senior secondary curriculum and the recognition of HKDSE qualification around the world.

     Besides taking the opportunity in New York to host a gathering with Hong Kong students studying there and those who would like to pursue further studies or employment in Hong Kong, Mr Ng also attended a dinner meeting with Hong Kong professors teaching in the state.

     During his official visit to Canada and the US, Mr Ng met with representatives from local post-secondary institutions as well as governmental, commercial and non-governmental organisations on 25 occasions to promote Hong Kong's education and exchanges between Hong Kong and the two countries.

     Other members of the delegation include the Deputy Secretary for Education, Dr Catherine K K Chan, the Administrative Assistant to the SED, Mr Kenneth Cheng, the Chairman of the Hong Kong Examinations and Assessment Authority (HKEAA) Council, Mr Rock Chen, and the Secretary General of the HKEAA, Dr Tong Chong-sze. They will be back to Hong Kong tomorrow afternoon.

Ends/Saturday, March 16, 2013
Issued at HKT 12:46


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