Parents play a vital role in the journey of children’s growth and learning and are key partners of schools. We have all along been actively supporting home-school co-operation, forging home-school partnership and promoting parent education through kindergartens and primary and secondary schools. Since 2020, we have been adopting a parent-based approach in implementing and optimising the work of parent education, enhancing parents’ comprehensive understanding of raising children, supporting children’s learning, fostering positive values and facilitating the whole-person development of children. We hope that all children can learn happily and grow up healthily in a positive and loving environment.
Understanding developmental needs of children to enhance parenting skills
Family is the core that shapes children’s development. It has had a great influence on the healthy growth of children since their birth. Parents should move with the times to learn the parenting knowledge, skills and positive attitudes appropriate to the needs of children at different development stages to facilitate their healthy, happy and balanced development.
In order to promote parent education in a systematic manner, we launched the Curriculum Frameworks on Parent Education applicable for parents of kindergarten and primary students in September 2021 and December 2022 respectively and uploaded them onto the “Smart Parent Net” website (www.parent.edu.hk/en/home/). The Curriculum Frameworks cover key issues relating to different domains of parent education at the kindergarten and primary school stages and serve as a common basis to facilitate systematic provision of territory-wide, community-based, school-based and online parent education courses and activities by relevant parties. We appeal to various institutions, groups and organisations to make reference to the Curriculum Frameworks, and devise and plan parent education programmes and activities that meet the needs of parents. We also encourage parents to study the Curriculum Frameworks to understand children’s development and learning needs in a systematic manner. In addition, we have commenced the formulation of the Curriculum Framework on Parent Education for parents of secondary students.
Optimising parent education resources to cater for needs of different parents
Parents with different backgrounds, such as non-Chinese speaking (NCS) parents or parents of children with special educational needs (SEN), may have different parenting needs. To enhance the support for NCS parents, starting from the 2020/21 school year, we have commissioned non-governmental organisations and a post-secondary institution to provide a series of parent education programmes for NCS parents to help them support their children’s learning, encourage their children to master the Chinese language, and gain a comprehensive understanding of the multiple pathways available to their children. Diversified modes of activities, including talks, workshops and exhibitions, are introduced to meet the different needs of NCS parents and enhance their level of participation in these activities.
In addition, we have compiled a new series of parent resource pamphlets entitled “How to Support Children with Special Educational Needs” to provide parents with useful information on caring for children with SEN according to the nine types of SEN (including autism spectrum disorder, attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder and specific learning difficulties). All the pamphlets are available in Chinese, English and eight ethnic minority languages. Parents may download the pamphlets from the SENSE website of the Education Bureau (EDB) (sense.edb.gov.hk/en/).
The “Smart Parent Net” (www.parent.edu.hk/en/home/), a one-stop platform set up by the EDB, facilitates parents’ access to the latest parent education resources and important information on supporting physical and psychological development of students. The topics include parent-child relationship, parenting skills and emotional management of parents. We will continue to enhance the contents of the website to provide diversified parent education resources to cater for the needs of different parents.
Positive parents support child’s growth and create parent-child moments
At present, we are running the territory-wide “Positive Parent Campaign” to promote parent education through extensive and diversified channels, with a view to fostering positive thinking among parents to help children grow up happily. Earlier on, we held a video production competition on parent education called “Light Up a Bright Future with Your Child”. It was well received with active participation from schools, parents, students and members of the public. In addition, the activities and resources of our “Playtime with Children” series enable parents to understand the importance of parent-child play, encourage them to spend quality time with their children and create happy childhood memories, thus enabling children to grow up happily and healthily. The “Play with Your Children Day” held earlier also received an overwhelming response, attracting around 200 students and their parents. The “Playtime with Children” series includes 18 roving exhibitions, launching of a parent education resource kit and demonstration videos of parent-child games, and distribution of parent-child board games. To promote a habit of parent-child play among parents, we will organise the “Call for Parent-Child Games” activity from January to June 2023 and invite parents to upload video clips of their parent-child games to introduce interesting games to and share the joy with other parents.
Moreover, we have just produced the theme song of the Campaign and are preparing for a new TV Announcement in the Public Interest (API) of the Campaign entitled “Parental care and love help children grow up with confidence”. The API will be released soon. Parents and members of the public are encouraged to stay tuned.
Home-school co-operation nurtures brilliant new generation
Schools are the most direct and effective platform in promoting parent education. To encourage schools to organise more school-based home-school co-operation and parent education activities, starting from the 2019/20 school year, the EDB has provided additional subsidy to Parent-Teacher Associations (PTAs). We encourage the PTAs of schools to make use of the enhanced resources to organise more home-school co-operation and parent education activities that suit the needs of the parents. With the participation and collaboration of various stakeholders, we hope that schools and parents will work hand-in-hand in cultivating students’ positive attitudes to facilitate their healthy development and effective learning.
The success of the implementation of parent education hinges on the support and collaboration of different sectors of society. We will continue to promote parent education through diversified, universal and innovative approaches and encourage parents to develop a more intimate relationship with their children to enhance the bond and mutual trust. We look forward to working together with different sectors to promote home-school co-operation and parent education, thereby enabling our new generation to grow up and develop their talents in a healthy and happy environment.
Christmas is around the corner. Wishing all parents and children a happy festive season with enjoyable parent-child moments.
A snapshot of an activity of the “Play with Your Children Day”.
The “Playtime with Children” roving exhibition.
A screenshot of the second runner-up of the primary group of the “Light Up a Bright Future with Your Child” video production competition on parent education, illustrating that a visual reminder can help enhance parent-child communication.
19 December 2022