Provision of education opportunities to persons educated up to Secondary 3 or below
Asked by : Hon Wong Sing-chi
Replied by : SEM
Regarding the provision of education opportunities to persons educated up to Secondary 3 ("S3") or below, will the Government inform this Council of:
the respective numbers of young people aged between 15 and 25 who are not attending ordinary schools and have been educated up to Secondary 3, 2, 1, and below;
the total number of places offered in the full-time courses organized by the Vocational Training Council in the past three years for which those who have only completed S3 may apply, and the percentage of this number in the total number of places offered in all full-time courses in the same period; and
the avenues for pursuing further education currently available to young persons who have not completed S3, the total number of places provided through such avenues each year, and whether the number of places is sufficient to meet the demand?
We understand that by "young people who are not attending ordinary schools", the Hon Wong Sing-chi is referring to young people who are not studying full-time courses.
According to the statistics of the Census and Statistics Department, the number of young people aged between 15 and 25 who are with secondary 3, secondary 2, secondary 1 and below secondary 1 educational attainment and are not studying full-time courses in the third quarter of 2001 are as follows-
Number of young people
Below Secondary 1
9 900Secondary 377 400
The total number of full-time places offered by the Vocational Training Council (VTC) in the past three years which are available to people with secondary 3 educational attainment, and the percentage of these places in the total number of full-time places of VTC in the same period, are shown below-
Number of places offered for people with S3 educational attainment3 2003 7003 700
Percentage in total number of full-time places
- The Government provides different avenues for young persons without S3 qualifications to pursue further education, including-
(i) Adult Education courses
The Education Department (ED) provides evening learning opportunities for adults aged 15 or above by running formal adult education courses. These courses include the Adult Education Course (General Background) at the primary level, the Government Evening Secondary School Course at the secondary level and the English Course at primary to senior secondary levels. In the 2001/02 school year, 6 100 places are offered in formal adult education courses for young persons with educational attainment below S3. ED also subvents non-governmental organisations to run adult education courses, e.g. application of IT and labour education. In the 2001/02 school year, these subvented programmes offer about 26 700 places.
(ii) Project Springboard programmes
Young persons aged 21 or above with educational attainment below S3 could enrol on Project Springboard programmes. To arouse young persons' interests in learning and to develop their potential, Project Springboard programmes put more emphasis on the acquisition of practical skills, e.g. application of IT, interpersonal and communication skills, business and management etc. Project Springboard programmes offer about 5 000 places every year.
(iii) The Open University of Hong Kong (OUHK)
OUHK provides education opportunities for adults and the working population. The University adopts an open entry policy. No entry qualifications are required except for certain professional programmes. All persons who are aged 17 or above and would like to pursue further education could apply for the programmes without attending any examinations or selection interviews. Currently, OUHK offers more than 100 programmes at the postgraduate, degree and sub-degree levels with a total enrolment of more than 26 000. The Li Ka Shing Institute of Professional and Continuing Education of OUHK also offers more than 400 sub-degree, diploma, certificate programmes and short courses for more than 15 000 students.
(iv) Youth Pre-employment Training Programme (YPTP)
Young people aged 15 to 19 who have left schools and want to join the labour market could participate in the YPTP for pre-employment training. The training courses normally do not require any qualification requirements. They are designed to tackle the common problems faced by young job seekers in their transition from school to work. The training capacity for the YPTP in autumn 2001 was 12 000. The second phase of the programme will be launched in February 2002, offering about 6 000 training places. Subject to the demand of young people for the programme, the number of training places may be increased.
The above provision is sufficient to meet the demand of those who wish to pursue further education. Of course, we will review the demand from time to time and increase the number of places whenever necessary.
In addition, young people may choose to go back to daytime schools for formal schooling. ED could provide the relevant information and advice and could help these young people to continue their studies in public sector schools, so long as they could demonstrate their ability and wish, and are willing to take up opportunities and challenges.