SED concludes his visit to Korea (with photos)

     The Secretary for Education (SED), Mr Eddie Ng Hak-kim, today (May 31) concluded his three-day visit to Korea. He said he believed that the official visit would be conducive to the planning and development of free kindergarten education and information technology (IT) in education in Hong Kong.

     "Hong Kong and Korea bear some similarity on the education front," Mr Ng said. "First, both of us have a sound education system as Korea and Hong Kong ranked second and third respectively in an international research report published by Pearson in 2012.

     "Second, the two places are making efforts towards an increasingly subsidised and free kindergarten education as well as promoting IT in education. Thus we are facing both the opportunities and the challenges arising from the policy initiatives.

     "Therefore, we have common ground for communication and exchanging views and information in the two areas for the enhancement of education and students' learning outcomes."

     Noting that the Education Bureau has accorded top priority to the planning of free kindergarten education and the formulation of the Fourth IT in Education Strategy, Mr Ng said he regarded the visit as a very important move to connect Hong Kong and Korea for further in-depth communication from the government level to the school level. The two places could learn from each other, with a view to putting in place the relevant policy initiatives smoothly.

     Leading a Hong Kong delegation in Korea, Mr Ng today made his first stop at the Seoul Itaewon Elementary School, which is a public school that was designated by the Seoul Metropolitan Office of Education in 2011 as the first pilot school for information and communication technology (ICT)-based education.

     Mr Ng was briefed on the school's policy and measures in implementing ICT in education including the use of e-textbooks, its impact on student performance, and the ways to cope with the ever changing IT world. During the visit, he was pleased to accept the school's suggestion to organise exchange activities with the Education Bureau and schools in Hong Kong during the summer vacation this year.

     Mr Ng then went to the Centre for Supporting Teaching and Learning of the Seoul Education Research and Information Institute, which is a research agency of the Seoul Metropolitan Office of Education to provide teaching and learning support for teachers and students, especially in ICT-related areas. Mr Ng toured the ICT infrastructure and facilities of the Centre.

     Another team of delegates visited Buksung Kindergarten, where they conducted class observation and looked into its daily operation.

     During his stay in Korea, Mr Ng took the opportunity to gather with Hong Kong students and local business leaders to update them on the latest developments in Hong Kong and listen to their discussion of daily life in the country.

     Besides the SED, the delegates include the Chairman of the Committee on Free Kindergarten Education, Dr Moses Cheng; the Executive Director of the Hong Kong Education City Limited, Mr Victor Cheng; the Deputy Secretary for Education, Mrs Betty Ip; the Administrative Assistant to the SED, Mr Kenneth Cheng; and the Principal Assistant Secretary for Education (Education Infrastructure), Ms Jenny Chan.

     They will return to Hong Kong tomorrow.

Ends/Friday, May 31, 2013
Issued at HKT 17:45