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SED's opening remarks at press briefing on New Applied Learning Courses Including Applied Learning Chinese (for non-Chinese speaking students)

     Following is the opening remarks by the Secretary for Education, Mr Eddie Ng Hak-kim, at the press briefing on New Applied Learning Courses Including Applied Learning Chinese (for non-Chinese speaking students) today (December 11):
     The Government has been committed to encouraging and supporting non-Chinese speaking (NCS) students to integrate into the community, for example through helping them adapt to the local education system and learn Chinese. With reference to the experience in learning and teaching Chinese as a second language and in supporting schools, we have made an active response to the public's views on providing NCS students with opportunities to learn Chinese. In addition to the Chinese Language Curriculum Second Language Learning Framework for schools, two newly designed Applied Learning Chinese (for NCS students) (ApL(C)) courses (i.e. ApL(C)-Chinese for the Service Industry and ApL(C)-Practical Chinese in Hospitality) will be introduced by the Education Bureau (EDB) in the current school year. The ApL(C) programme can provide an additional channel exclusively for NCS students to obtain an alternative Chinese language qualification. These courses will provide a simulated applied learning context for students to learn Chinese through different modes of activities.

     The programme is designed from the perspective of second language learners for NCS students to learn Chinese. In addition to the Hong Kong Diploma of Secondary Education (HKDSE) qualification, this programme is also pegged at the Qualifications Framework (QF) Levels 1 to 3. Students will obtain the QF certificate(s) progressively. Obtaining both the HKDSE and QF qualifications would enhance NCS students' further study opportunities and employability.

     The EDB will fully subsidise schools in paying the course fee of ApL(C). Students need not pay the course fee.

     I am pleased that the programme has been accepted by all the eight University Grants Committee (UGC)-funded institutions and most of the post-secondary institutions (23 in total) as an alternative qualification in Chinese language for the admission of NCS students with "Attained" as the minimum grade required. The Civil Service Bureau also accepts "Attained" and "Attained with Distinction" in ApL(C) as meeting the Chinese language proficiency requirements of relevant civil service ranks. Major employers and professional bodies, such as the Hong Kong Institute of Human Resource Management and the Hong Kong Retail Management Association, have recognised the qualifications of ApL(C) as well.

     In the 2015-17 cohort, 40 ApL courses will be offered, including the above two ApL(C) courses and eight new ApL courses to reflect the development of society and to provide diversified learning opportunities for students. Relevant information will be introduced shortly.
     Overall, students' ApL results in the HKDSE are encouraging in the first three cohorts. About 80 per cent of the ApL graduates opted to continue their studies in different programmes (including degree programmes and associate degree and higher diploma courses in different institutions), whereas some graduates chose to start developing their careers in various fields.

     With the continued support of ApL by different sectors of society, along with the enhanced recognition of ApL in both HKDSE and QF qualifications, we are confident that our students' potential can be fully realised for their future development and success.

Ends/Thursday, December 11, 2014
Issued at HKT 14:45


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