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SED's opening remarks at LegCo Finance Committee special meeting
     Following is the opening remarks (English translation) by the Secretary for Education, Mr Kevin Yeung, at the special meeting of the Legislative Council Finance Committee today (April 16):


      The estimated total expenditure on education in 2021-22 is $110.9 billion. Of this, the recurrent education expenditure increases by $3.6 billion to $100.7 billion, accounting for about one-fifth of the estimated total government recurrent expenditure. The recurrent expenditure on education has, over 10 years (i.e. from 2012-13 to 2021-22 financial year), increased by 67 per cent with an average growth rate of 5.8 per cent per annum. This clearly demonstrates the Government's long-term commitment to invest in education.

      We are committed to providing quality education through upholding the "Led by Professionals" principle, listening carefully to voices of the education sector and devoting substantial resources to education. Over the past three years, the Government has allocated a total of over $13.5 billion recurrent expenditure for the implementation of a series of improvement measures, covering education manpower, funding and hardware, to improve the quality of education. In 2021-22, we will take forward the following new measures.

      For basic education, we will further promote Applied Learning to make it a valued senior secondary elective subject. At the same time, while we will provide students with the subsidy and more diversified courses to broaden their studies and learning experience, so as to facilitate their diversified development, we will also implement the reform of senior secondary core subjects, provide training to teachers and prepare teaching resources to help teachers get hold of the new subject of Citizenship and Social Development. We will promote national security education in schools to cultivate among students a correct understanding of the concepts of national security through relevant subjects and learning activities inside and outside classrooms; we have already provided guidelines on school administration and education as well as teacher training and resource materials to schools to enable school personnel and students to understand and comply with the National Security Law. We will also work with post-secondary institutions to promote national security education at the post-secondary level. The training requirements for newly appointed and serving teachers as well as teachers to be promoted, covering professional roles, values and conduct of teachers; education development at the local, national and international levels; national education and national security education, etc, will also be stepped up.

      Furthermore, we will replace manually operated water taps with motion sensor operated ones for aided schools, and pay the examination fees for school candidates sitting for the 2022 Hong Kong Diploma of Secondary Education Examination. 

      The Innovation and Technology Bureau (ITB)/Office of the Government Chief Information Officer (OGCIO) will also provide funding of up to $0.4 million to each subsidised primary school in the coming three school years, thereby rolling out a "Knowing More About IT Programme" to enhance students' interests and knowledge in information technology and their applications through extra-curricular activities, so as to prepare them for integration into the knowledge-based economy and participation in the development of a digital society. The OGCIO will set up a one-stop support centre to provide assistance for primary schools.

      As regards post-secondary education, the ITB and the Education Bureau will launch a "Global STEM Professorship Scheme" for a period of five years to enhance support for the University Grant Committee-funded universities to attract up to 100 internationally renowned professors in STEM-related disciplines and their teams to work in Hong Kong so as to enable our universities to scale new heights in innovation and technology teaching and research activities.

      For vocational and professional education, we will implement the Smart Technology Applications and Mobile Platform for the Vocational Training Council to further promote its provision of vocational and professional education and training (VPET). We have also commenced a review of sub-degree education and launched a pilot project on applied degrees in late-2020. Moreover, we will continue to implement the pilot scheme introduced in the 2020/21 academic year, under which an external consultant has been engaged to provide one-stop professional service on VPET for teachers of selected secondary schools, in order to enhance the promotion of VPET in secondary education.

      Chairman, my colleagues and I will be happy to answer further questions from Members. Thank you.
Ends/Friday, April 16, 2021
Issued at HKT 10:53
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