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Appointment to Committee on Free Kindergarten Education

     The Education Bureau today (June 23) announced the appointment of Mrs Betty Ip as the Vice-Chairman of the Committee on Free Kindergarten Education.

     The appointment takes immediate effect until the expiry of the Committee's tenure, tentatively scheduled for April 2015.

     The Secretary for Education, Mr Eddie Ng Hak-kim, said, "I am pleased that Mrs Ip, who is a veteran education professional in the civil service, has accepted the invitation to the volunteer her service by joining the Committee as the Vice-Chairman.

     "For the past 35 years, Mrs Ip has devoted herself to serving the community in various positions in the then Education Department, the then Education and Manpower Bureau and the Education Bureau. Until her retirement in May 2014, Mrs Ip, as the Deputy Secretary responsible for, among others, policy on kindergarten education, participated actively in the Committee on Free Kindergarten Education since its establishment in April 2013. Her departure when the Committee was half-way through its work was a great loss to continuity.

     "I am confident that her continued participation in the Committee and support for the Chairman, albeit in a personal rather than official capacity, will be conducive to the deliberation of complex and interrelated issues as well as dialogue with stakeholders of diverse interests."

     The Chairman of the Committee, Dr Moses Cheng, said, "Mrs Ip is a truly dedicated education professional with profound experience in education administration. She has made a valuable contribution to the Committee over the past year in the deliberations on how to implement practicably free kindergarten education. Together with the strong commitment and support of all members, I am confident that the Committee will complete its tasks diligently and make recommendations in 2015 on the practicable implementation of free kindergarten education in Hong Kong."

     On the progress of the Committee's work, Dr Cheng said, "Since the establishment of the Committee in April 2013, the Committee and its five sub-committees have held about 40 meetings to deliberate on various issues relating to free kindergarten education. To provide immediate support for the kindergarten sector and parents before the completion of the study, the Committee submitted a progress report to the Education Bureau in December 2013 and proposed some short-term measures. I am delighted that the Government has accepted the Committee's recommendations and taken follow-up action actively.

     "For the purpose of public engagement and consultation, the Committee conducted between October and December 2013 focus group meetings with various stakeholders to gauge their views. Looking ahead, we shall continue to maintain communication with the stakeholders, including conducting further focus group meetings. We will also arrange consultation sessions when appropriate to gauge views for consideration holistically and objectively, and keep the public informed of the progress of our work at opportune times," Dr Cheng added.

Ends/Monday, June 23, 2014
Issued at HKT 13:07


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