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Paid non-local study leave scheme for secondary school teachers opens for application
     The Education Bureau (EDB) today (August 1) announced the roll-out of the paid non-local study leave scheme for secondary school teachers in the 2017/18 school year, in which participating teachers may join a five- to six-week study programme and professional development activities in Finland or Australia.
     An EDB spokesman said, "The scheme, entitled 'i-Journey' Paid Non-local Study Leave Scheme for Secondary School Teachers, is a new education initiative pledged in the 2017 Policy Address. The three-year pilot scheme is expected to benefit some 150 teachers.
     "This scheme aims to offer teachers a unique learning experience through structured learning courses and overseas school attachment, which will inspire them with new perspectives and the latest global education developments. We hope that upon completion of the programmes and activities, participating teachers can reflect and apply what is learned in their teaching practices to benefit students."
     The first batch of the pilot scheme will be held from April to June 2018. To cater for teachers' needs, two customised programmes on different themes have been devised in the first batch, namely Interdisciplinary Learning & Entrepreneurship Education, to be held at the University of Jyväskylä in Finland, and Catering for Students with Special Educational Needs, to be held at Deakin University in Australia.
     The EDB will provide participating teachers with eight to nine weeks' paid study leave. In addition to providing five- to six-week study leave for learning activities overseas (including structured learning and on-site experiential learning attachment), the EDB will also arrange for three weeks of study leave so that teachers can research the specific theme of the programme they will participate in before departure. Upon returning to Hong Kong, they will consolidate their learning and draw up a concrete school-based initiative/research proposal. Air passage and course fees will be fully sponsored by the EDB. Funding for employment of supply teachers covering participants' whole study leave periods will be provided for their schools.
     "The EDB has all along given full support for continuing professional development of teachers and developing programmes that suit the imminent professional needs of teachers. We are now extending our support by allowing teachers to undertake professional development activities of a longer duration to broaden their perspectives and enrich their experience. We anticipate that the learning experience will enhance teachers' professional capacity and promote a culture of research and inquiry in schools that can bring about positive changes and impacts on learning and teaching," the spokesman said.
     The EDB will review the effectiveness of the scheme upon completion of the three-year pilot period.  
     Application for the scheme started today and will run until October 6. Detailed information is available on the EDB website (www.edb.gov.hk/i-journey).
Ends/Tuesday, August 1, 2017
Issued at HKT 15:00
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