CS chairs first meeting of Task Force to Lift Underprivileged Students out of Intergenerational Poverty (with photo)
Mr Chan said, "The Task Force strives for alleviating poverty in a targeted manner with a scheme to address intergenerational poverty. The scheme will recruit from the community and schools underprivileged students, particularly those living in subdivided units, attending junior secondary schools, i.e. Secondary One to Secondary Three. The first round of the scheme will provide 2 000 places and comprise three major elements, namely mentorship, a personal development plan and financial support."
Under the scheme, each recruited junior secondary school student will be paired with a volunteer mentor. The mentors will share their life experience with the students and arrange visits, work shadow schemes or other activities to broaden the students’ horizons and strengthen their self-confidence, enabling them to develop personal goals in a proactive and positive manner. In addition, the mentors will assist the students in developing positive financial planning concepts and deploying the financial support provided by the scheme effectively to achieve their personal development plans. As an initial plan, the Task Force will provide for each student a start-up sum of $5,000 that will be spent under the guidance of the mentor to achieve personal goals. Upon successful completion of the programme, a scholarship of $5,000 will be awarded to the student so as to apply the financial planning concepts acquired for personal pursuits.
At the meeting, the Task Force discussed the initial plan and implementation details of the scheme, including tripartite collaboration among the Government, the business sector and the community; recruitment of students and mentors; a structured mentorship programme; and indicators on the impact of the scheme. In addition, the Task Force explored ways to engage the business sector, such as their nomination of mentors rich in life experience and provision of the relevant funding support for students. The Task Force would also mobilise government departments as well as public and commercial organisations to organise inspiring group activities to broaden students' horizons. The Task Force initially formulated indicators on the impact of the scheme and agreed that they should place more emphasis on assessing and comparing the changes and improvements of students before and after enrolling in the scheme in different areas, such as self-confidence, sense of responsibility, goal-setting and financial planning abilities, with a view to empowering them to lift themselves out of intergenerational poverty.
"After the scheme's details are ironed out, the Task Force seeks to announce them in August to kick-start the recruitment of mentors and students. Subject to the experience accumulated and review of the scheme’s effectiveness, we will consider enhancements to the scheme a year later and launch the second round, with a view to carrying on targeted work against intergenerational poverty in an in-depth and systematic manner," Mr Chan added.
The Task Force is led by the Chief Secretary for Administration to implement the Chief Executive's manifesto insofar as targeted poverty alleviation is concerned through a focused scheme to lift underprivileged junior secondary school students, particularly those living in subdivided units, out of intergenerational poverty. The Labour and Welfare Bureau and the Social Welfare Department provide support on policy and its implementation for the Task Force. The Education Bureau, the Home and Youth Affairs Bureau and the Home Affairs Department are also members of the Task Force, which will assist in promoting the participation of schools and district organisations. The Task Force will later brief the Commission on Poverty on the scheme and consult it for views.
Ends/Tuesday, July 12, 2022
Issued at HKT 18:22
Issued at HKT 18:22