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Appointments to Committee on Free Kindergarten Education announced

     The Education Bureau (EDB) today (April 8) announced the setting up of the Committee on Free Kindergarten Education and appointed Dr Moses Cheng Mo-chi as its Chair. Also appointed to the Committee were 19 members comprising representatives of the kindergarten sector, school sponsoring bodies, a teacher education institution, the Education Commission, a teacher and parents as well as lay members and an EDB representative. The appointments take effect from today for a period of two years.

     The Secretary for Education, Mr Eddie Ng Hak-kim, said, "The introduction of 15-year free education is one of the top priorities of the current-term Government. With the participation of various stakeholders of kindergarten education and other professionals, the Committee can look into the needs of all parties from multiple perspectives to strike a balance, and make concrete and practicable recommendations to the EDB.

     "I am very pleased that Dr Cheng accepts our invitation to serve as the Committee Chair. Dr Cheng has all along been concerned about the local education sector and our children. He has a strong passion for education and is very experienced and familiar with education development in Hong Kong.

     "Under the leadership of Dr Cheng, the Committee will start working immediately with a view to making at the earliest possible date practicable recommendations on how to take forward free kindergarten education to the EDB," said Mr Ng.

     In view of the intricacies of the issues involved, Mr Ng hoped that the Committee could complete its tasks in two years and make concrete recommendations to the EDB. During the period, the Committee will also proactively explore short- and medium-term measures to render assistance to the kindergarten sector in face of the challenges ahead. The Government will strive to put in place these measures accordingly.

     The Committee will make concrete recommendations to the EDB on the practicable implementation of free kindergarten education in the context of 15-year free education. Specifically, it will:

* gauge the views of stakeholders on current practices and the future policy of free kindergarten education;

* identify, examine and assess, with reference to the Pre-primary Education Voucher Scheme, options for free kindergarten education, issues for possible improvements to kindergarten education and any related measures;

* advise on the setting up of and provide steer for the sub-committees to study certain specific issues in detail; and

* consider options, implications and implementation strategies developed by the sub-committees and conduct consultation with major stakeholders.

     The membership list of the Committee is as follows:

Chair: Dr Moses Cheng Mo-chi

Ms Liu Fung-heung       (Kindergarten Principal)
Ms Ho Lan-sang          (Kindergarten Principal)
Dr Maggie Koong May-kay (Kindergarten Principal)
Ms Shek Lai-yee         (Kindergarten Teacher)
Dr Sanly Kam Shau-wan   (School Sponsoring Body)
Ms Lam Lai-ping         (School Sponsoring Body)
Ms Ng Yin-kam           (School Sponsoring Body)
Mr Sin Kim-wai          (Primary School Principal)
Professor Nirmala Rao (Teacher Education Institution)
Dr Gordon Tsui Luen-on  (Parent)
Mr Wong Chun-kit        (Parent)
Ms Chiu Nga-sze         (Parent)
Mr Walter Chan Kar-lok  (Education Commission Member)
Mr Tim Lui Tim-leung    (Education Commission Member)
Ms Dilys Chau Suet-fung (Education Commission Member)
Ms Chitty Cheung Fung-ting (Lay Member)
Ms Susanna Hui             (Lay Member)
Mr Addy Wong Wai-hung      (Lay Member)
EDB Representative

     The Committee will deliberate as soon as possible on the setting up of a number of sub-committees to follow up on details in specific areas including the vision and mission of kindergarten education, subvention modes, the different needs of whole-day and half-day kindergartens, teacher qualification and salary framework, teacher-to-student ratio, monitoring and governance framework, home-school co-operation and other matters. The sub-committees will engage in thorough discussions and analyses in their designated areas and report their findings to the Committee for further consideration.

Ends/Monday, April 8, 2013
Issued at HKT 14:49


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