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Transcript of remarks by SED

     Following is the transcript of remarks by the Secretary for Education, Mr Eddie Ng Hak-kim, at a media session after attending the Youth Summit 2013 organised by AIESEC Hong Kong today (June 14):

Secretary for Education: First of all, I am so glad being here today and attending the Youth Summit 2013 organised by AIESEC. This is a very important gathering for all 250 young people. Many of them are university students here and from other Asia-Pacific countries coming together. They have three themes that I think are important for all the young people in Hong Kong to pick up. The first one is the corporate social responsibility spirit. The second one is protecting our environment. The third one is the importance of education. Through their particular survey clearly telling us, education is their top priority. I did mention to them about various activities and the very heavy investment that the HKSAR Government will continue to invest in education. By setting a higher standard and higher expectation, it would be good for all of us in order to pursue and keep on improving.

Reporter: The survey suggests that more investment should be put into education. You are giving more in terms of free kindergarten places, but you cut it from ESF (English Schools Foundation) ...

Secretary for Education: I get it. In terms of investment in education, that is our determination and so that will not change. The three-year free kindergarten education initiative has just started with the committee and five subcommittees formed. They started working very hard to work out recommendations and various studies. Some can work out some short-term and mid-term devices in order to manage the process. We expect to have a two-year period to come up with a package of recommendations. This is the enhancement of the existing education system, turning it from 12-year to become 15-year free education.

     The ESF is a historical issue. We are trying very hard to have a balanced solution. I am so glad to see the schools and the Government have come to the final recommendation and settlement. We should not see that as a reduction. We see that as the reconfirmation of the vision and mission of the ESF. They will be able to get their autonomy in running and rendering their services. The provision of international education will continue.

Reporter: Where will the subsidy saving go? ...

Secretary for Education: This is an investment of 13 years, plus three years, and a gradual one with full commitment for the existing students, even all the way down to the kindergarten package. There will be extra funding we plan to provide. Once settled in 16 years' time, life will then get normal.

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

Ends/Friday, June 14, 2013
Issued at HKT 17:11


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