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SED visits Eastern District (with photos)

     The Secretary for Education, Mr Eddie Ng Hak-kim, today (October 8) visited Eastern District. Apart from visiting an education institution to see for himself the development of vocational education, Mr Ng also took the opportunity to meet with Eastern District Council members and secondary school principals to exchange views on issues of mutual concern.

     Accompanied by the District Officer (Eastern), Mr Davis Hui, Mr Ng visited the Hong Kong Institute of Vocational Education (IVE) (Chai Wan), where he toured various school facilities and programmes, including the training restaurant and kitchen, the dispensing training and pharmaceutical care resource centre and the pharmaceutical manufacturing laboratory, as well as the centre for making models, product design and rapid prototyping. Mr Ng also chatted with students to understand their school life and aspirations.

     "The Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Government attaches great importance to education and training for young people, and hopes that all of them can be equipped to achieve their goals," Mr Ng said.

     "Taking IVE students as an example, they have been commended highly for their creativity, professional knowledge, practical skills and working capabilities in the workplace. In addition, some students choose to pursue further studies, including taking local or overseas undergraduate degree programmes.

     "In fact, the New Senior Secondary academic structure provides students with a diversified curriculum. Apart from traditional academic subjects, there are 37 applied learning subjects covering six areas of studies, namely Creative Studies; Media and Communication; Business, Management and Law; Services; Applied Science; and Engineering and Production," he added.

     "We also encourage schools to render necessary assistance to students in their career planning. By providing appropriate guidance, schools can help students identify their needs for further studies and employment, and find their right path."

     Mr Ng also met with the Chairman of the Eastern District Council, Mr Wong Kin-pan, and other District Council members, as well as secondary school principals in the district to exchange views on education and other issues.

     He thanked all secondary school principals in the territory for working together with the Education Bureau (EDB) to implement a basket of targeted measures to maintain the stability and strength of the schools as well as the teaching force, so as to tackle smoothly the decline of 5 200 Secondary One (S1) students in the 2013/14 school year.

     "According to the S1 student headcount result for the 2013/14 school year, among all the 388 public sector secondary schools participating in the Secondary School Places Allocation, only 12 of them have encountered class reduction, with each school reducing one S1 class. This is far below the predicted reduction of more than 100 classes by some stakeholders earlier, which has demonstrated the effectiveness of the measures," he said.

     In view of the expected drop of around 3 000 S1 students in the 2014/15 school year, the EDB will continue to implement a basket of relief measures based on the consensus reached with the school sector in the past academic year, including adopting a district-/school-based adjustment to the number of students to be allocated per S1 class from the 2013/14 to 2015/16 school years so as to reduce the allocation size progressively by "2-1-1" or "1-1-1", i.e. reducing the allocation size of each S1 class by one student in the 2014/15 school year.

     The EDB will maintain close liaison with schools to sustain the effectiveness of the relief measures with an aim of preserving the stability and strength of the schools and the teaching force as well as ensuring the quality of education during the temporary decline in the S1 student population.

Ends/Tuesday, October 8, 2013
Issued at HKT 19:05


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