Speech by Mrs Fanny Law, GBS, JP
Permanent Secretary for Education and Manpower
at the Company Programme Trade Fair,
Junior Achievement Hong Kong
on Saturday, 14 January 2006
Good morning everybody,
Thank you for inviting me to join you at this Company Programme Trade Fair, which is the most popular Junior Achievement programme in Hong Kong . The figures speak for its popularity. The number of participating schools has tripled since the Programme was launched in 2003, from 25 to 75 this year, with a corresponding increase in the number of students from 500 to 1600.
It is fascinating to see senior secondary students turned into entrepreneurs, bubbling with enthusiasm and showing off their creativity, in the uniquely decorated trade booths and the programme walking ads. From the smile on their face, the sparkle in their eyes, and the confidence in their poise, I can imagine how much they enjoy the hands-on experience of running a real business. In the process, I hope and I believe they have sharpened their decision-making skills, enhanced their confidence in public speaking and marketing, honed their leadership skills and acquired new knowledge in business and financial literacy, entrepreneurship and risk analysis.
The Company Programme is an outstanding example of business-school partnership. EMB also takes pride in being one of the partners of the Programme. Last year, the Programme received the Caring Company Outstanding Partnership Project Award of the Hong Kong Council of Social Service. Congratulations to the Junior Achievement Hong Kong for conceiving and delivering the Progarmme!
I would also like to extend my heartfelt thanks to the Hong Kong and Shanghai Banking Corporation Limited for its generosity in sponsoring the Programme and the volunteer advisors from different professions and trades for taking our students out of the classroom into the business world.
The world today is changing more rapidly, what was new may become obsolete very quickly, and the workplace is becoming more demanding. In education, we have to equip our young people for the future and develop them into self-directed lifelong learners. This requires that students should learn to learn, rather than memorise textbook knowledge. Students do not learn in structured and linear way. They learn best through active participation. If we want our students to be creative, they must have the opportunity to create. The Company Programme provides this opportunity.
Education has significant implications for the well-being of a society, and requires the concerted efforts of all stakeholders. There are over 500 secondary schools in Hong Kong , and more than 70,000 students in each cohort. I appeal for the support of the business enterprises to exercise their corporate citizenship by partnering with schools to offer multifarious learning Programmes to help nurture our younger generation.
Finally, may I wish the Company Programme continued success for many years to come and everyone present happiness and success in the New Year. Thank you.