24 November 2007
Speech by Mr Raymond H C Wong, JP
Permanent Secretary for Education
Mr Choi, Dr Chan, Mrs Chan, Distinguished Guests, Ladies and Gentlemen,
I am most delighted to join you today to celebrate the inauguration of the HKU Graduate Association College . We observe today not only an inception of a new school, but also recognition of the College’s dedication to providing quality education to our children.
Education is the key to our future. All of us here are connected by the shared belief that the future of Hong Kong lies in the hands of our next generation. We are living through an era of profound change. Lying ahead of us are the immense challenges of the 21st Century. Our world is changing at an unprecedented pace and the issues we now face are very different from those some 10 or 20 years ago. To remain in a leading position, we are reshaping our education landscape to prepare a generation that could rise to these challenges.
I am pleased that we have you alongside.
Since its foundation in the year 2000, the Hong Kong University Graduates Association Education Foundation has been fully devoted to nurturing our new generation with vision, culture, ideals, commitment and dedication to excellence. The HKUGA College is the living proof of the Foundation’s aspiration. I am happy to see that the College enjoys wide support from the parents, students and the community. Support is vital to the success of a new school, particularly so to the first Direct Subsidy Scheme School to set up the Incorporated Management Committee.
I believe you will agree with me that no one knows what our children need better than parents and teachers. Under the school-based management framework, teachers and parents participate directly in the school’s decision-making process through the Incorporated Management Committee. The collective wisdom helps improve teaching and learning. The school also enjoys more flexibility in managing resources and developing curriculum to best fit students’ needs. This governance framework promotes participation, transparency and accountability, which are crucial to the operation and further development of the school.
The aspiration for quality education is the driving force of basically every initiative the government pursues. Our task is to provide our children with a learning environment that allows them to develop their potentials to the full, acquire skills and knowledge much needed in a globalised economy and, most important of all, grow to love the place we live in and make useful contribution to its continual success. These are exactly what we have in mind in taking forward the Education Reform and the New Academic Structure for Senior Secondary and Higher Education in Hong Kong .
In partnership, we have accomplished a lot, and we trust that the reform will bear fruits as it promised.
Looking down the road, there is much more we have to do. The New Senior Secondary Curriculum will come into place in September 2009. It will be a new landmark. Schools are moving away from their traditional role of imparting knowledge to our children. They are now focusing more on cultivating and developing their potentials. We are all looking forward to a more flexible, coherent and diversified senior secondary curriculum, and certainly the most positive impact that it would bring to our new generation.
Under the new curriculum, there will be 4 core subjects, that is, Chinese Language, English Language, Mathematics and Liberal Studies. We believe that this broad based curriculum will provide a firm footing for enhancing students’ language proficiency, mathematical literacy, critical thinking and ability to look at things from different perspectives. The new curriculum also puts weight on “Other Learning Experiences”, which include community services, career-related experience, moral and civic education, as well as physical and aesthetic experiences. Through these experiences, students are expected to better develop their competencies and personal qualities, and meet challenges of a changing world.
I am happy to know that the HKUGA College has spared no efforts to put in place a broad and balanced curriculum, with particular emphasis on whole-person development, and that students here are provided with ample opportunities to stretch their potentials and develop multiple intelligences.
Before I close, I would like to address particularly students of the HKUGA College .
Boys and girls, the Government has put education at the top of its agenda and it will always stay at the top. We have invested heavily in education in the past and we shall continue to do so. As an overseas expert in the IT industry has rightly pointed out, the illiterate of the 21st Century will not be those who cannot read and write, but those who cannot learn, unlearn, and relearn. Seize every opportunity open to you, and be thankful to your family and school for their support and guidance.
Ladies and Gentlemen, my sincere congratulations again on the inauguration of the College. I wish you all good health and every success in future endeavours. Thank you.