SED gives presentation on Hong Kong's education development at APEC Education Ministerial Meeting (with photos)
The general theme of AEMM this year is "Inclusive and Quality Education". In his presentation entitled "Facilitating Transition from Education to Work" this morning, Mr Ng first introduced to ministers and senior officials of the APEC economies the outcomes of education and curriculum reform in Hong Kong.
On universal education, Mr Ng told the participants that Hong Kong students have enjoyed 12 years of free primary and secondary education since the 2008/09 school year. From the 2017/18 school year, it will be extended to 15 years with the addition of three-year free and quality kindergarten education.
More importantly, the key findings about Hong Kong from the Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) 2012 showed that our students' socio-economic status seems to have less effect on their performance compared with other participating countries/regions. Studies suggested that Hong Kong has done relatively well in providing education opportunity with relatively high quality and high equity for all students, which in turn facilitates social mobility and reaffirms the quality of our education system.
On post-secondary education, about 46 per cent of Hong Kong's young people in the relevant cohort now have access to degree-level education, and about 70 per cent have access to sub-degree or above level. And this year five Hong Kong universities have been ranked among the world's top 200 by the Times Higher Education World University Rankings, more than any other Asian region.
Mr Ng then went on to introduce the HKSAR Government's efforts in recent years to promote human capital development through a basket of initiatives. These include the introduction of applied learning, business-school partnership, career and life planning education, vocational and professional education and training as well as the Qualifications Framework to facilitate students' transition from education to work.
"Hong Kong has been promoting career and life planning education as early as from the senior secondary level. We are pleased to note that 80 per cent of students found Applied Learning courses have aroused their learning interests. The courses can help students explore career aspirations and orientation. Both the number of business/organisational partners and the number of activities per year under the Business-School Partnership Programme have doubled to 150 and 980 respectively over the past four years, benefitting 278,000 students a year now," he said.
In addition, Hong Kong's post-secondary education has also provided students with more options for vocational and professional education and has emphasised the importance of student exchanges, service learning and internship opportunities.
As for employers' feedback, about 97 per cent and 95 per cent rated the performance of first degree graduates and sub-degree graduates as average or above respectively. Graduates generally performed better in terms of work attitude, information technology literacy, language proficiency, interpersonal skills and numerical competency.
"The goal of our education is to nurture lifelong learning and whole-person development in our students, who will learn through applying theory and practice towards achieving their aspirations in further studies and career as well as realising personal leadership, family well-being, national harmony and world peace," Mr Ng said.
At the closing of the 6th AEMM, the participating ministers and heads of delegations issued a leaders' declaration. They recognised the vital importance of continuing to work towards an inclusive and quality education agenda and that equitable access to high-quality education will allow APEC economies' populations to develop skills and competencies, from early childhood and throughout their lifetime.
To this end, the leaders encouraged the APEC economies to collaborate on improving education that supports sustainable economic growth and social well-being, enhances competencies, accelerates innovation and increases employability.
Mr Ng also held a bilateral meeting with the Minister of Education of Thailand, General Dapong Ratanasuwan, to exchange views on education issues of mutual concern. They agreed that the two side should seek enhanced cooperation in education. The Thai Minister of Education invited Mr Ng to visit Thailand in the near future for further and in-depth deliberations.
Tomorrow (October 7, San Francisco time) Mr Ng will fly to San Francisco in the United States (US), where he will visit the Microsoft Technology Centre in Silicon Valley and meet with its management to learn about new developments in e-learning and innovation education. He will also attend a gathering with some Hong Kong students and alumni of top universities in California.
Accompanying Mr Ng on his visit to Peru and the US are the Administrative Assistant to the SED, Mr Edward Yu, and the Principal Education Officer (Quality Assurance and School-based Support), Miss Lau Kar-shin.
Ends/Friday, October 7, 2016
Issued at HKT 12:22
Issued at HKT 12:22