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Information technology education in primary schools


Date of Meeting: 14 November 2001

Asked by : Hon SIN Chung-kai

Replied by : SEM

Question :

Regarding the implementation of information technology ("IT") education in primary schools, will the Government inform this Council :

  1. of the respective numbers of government and aided primary schools offering IT or computer subjects;

  2. whether the Education Department has drawn up syllabuses for these subjects; if not, of the reasons for that; and whether it knows the criteria adopted by the schools concerned in drawing up the contents for these subjects; and

  3. among those teaching these subjects, the respective percentages of teachers who possess various IT academic qualifications teaching these subjects; and whether it plans to set minimum IT academic qualifications required of these teachers; if not, the reasons for that?


Madam President,

a. & b. The Curriculum Development Council issued in 2000 "Information Technology Learning Targets" which served as the guidelines for schools to organise IT courses and to plan for IT-related teaching and learning activities. The document suggested, amongst others, an eight-module Computer Awareness Programme (CAP), which was drawn up having regard to the IT learning targets and the cognitive development of primary students at various stages, and serves as a blueprint for schools in formulating their school-based IT plans. The Education Department also prepared teaching resource packages on CAP for schools to help them apply IT in different subjects and enhance students' learning. At present, about 30 government and 570 aided primary schools in Hong Kong offer CAP as a separate subject, accounting for about 80% of the total primary schools. The remaining schools flexibly incorporate elements of CAP in other subjects through different approaches.
c. According to "Information Technology Learning Targets", the objective of IT education in primary schools is to teach students the knowhow of operating simple IT tools and accessing information via computer networks. It is not our aim to teach students specialized IT skills.

As part of the teacher education programmes, all pre-service primary teachers receive professional training on general teaching pedagogy for primary school subjects, which is applicable to all subjects including IT-related curriculum. In addition, the Government provides IT training for all serving teachers. All teachers have already reached at least the "basic"(Note 1) level of IT competency. We expect that 75%, 25% and 6% of teachers would reach the "intermediate"(Note 2), "upper intermediate"(Note 3) and "advanced"(Note 4) levels of IT competency respectively by the 2002/03 school year.

Moreover, in response to the Government's policy of promoting IT in education, all teacher training institutions have integrated in their pre-service programmes IT competency training, such as production of courseware, application of IT in teaching, and usage of various electronic networks. From the 2000/01 school year, all graduates of pre-service teacher education programmes must reach at least the "upper intermediate" level of IT competency.


(Note 1) By reaching the "basic" level, a teacher is able to master general computer operation and basic skills such as word-processing, surfing through the Internet, as well as operating readily available educational software.

(Note 2) By reaching the "intermediate" level, a teacher is able to use IT tools and make use of teaching resource available on the Internet and the Intranet in classroom teaching and lesson preparation.

(Note 3) By reaching the "upper intermediate" level, a teacher is able to handle computer networking, resolve simple hardware and software problems, make more advanced use of authorware for lesson preparation etc., and understand the characteristics and uses of different IT tools and resources.

(Note 4) By reaching the "advanced" level, a teacher is able to understand the functions of computer managed instruction systems, evaluate the effectiveness of instructional computer programmes, design instructional materials with use of IT, and choose appropriate IT equipment to meet a school's needs.

Last revision date: 14 November 2001
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