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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 a meeting with the management of the Chinese University of Hong Kong on student suicide prevention today (March 15):

Reporter: What is your reaction to the criticism regarding the "no suicide" agreement? And my second question is what has been discussed during the exchange session with the CUHK (Chinese University of Hong Kong) just now?

Secretary for Education: Let me just focus on the exchange with the Chinese University, with the vice-presidents, on the subject of the prevention of student suicide cases. I care a lot about what is happening, and I feel so sorry. I believe we should pay full attention to the subject. Therefore I made a particular trip over here with the courtesy of the vice-presidents and colleagues here and tried to express my concern and condolences to the university, the staff and students. More importantly, I understand the Chinese University has taken it very seriously, establishing a special task force, and has made a lot of special efforts and measures to address the subject. So this is the time for me to understand more, and there are good practices and I would be able to help expand them to other universities and the school sector as well. This is experience learning and sharing, part of the platform. So that is the part.

     As far as the subject of the "committing not to commit suicide" document (is concerned), let me repeat: the important point is, as I appealed to the public before, anything relating to the subject of student suicide cases, you have got to be reporting it in a very serious and a very careful, cautious (manner) and based on facts, or else it would create unnecessary and negative effect. I noticed about the report on this incident. Let me explain. This is one of the documents attached to the e-book that we provide to the schools and the wider community on how to prevent and how to identify early potentially high-risk student cases. This is a document not for general public consumption. Definitely the misreporting that students would be asked to sign it up in order to meet a quota is totally unfactual. This is particularly detrimental in terms of creating misunderstanding and unnecessary anxiety. I believe this is unprofessional, not responsible, and extremely misleading, and it does not help in any form in any way about the subject we are trying to address.

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

Ends/Tuesday, March 15, 2016
Issued at HKT 19:24


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