Speech by Mr Raymond H C Wong, JP
Permanent Secretary for Education, HKSAR
for the Welcoming Reception of
Japan-East Asia Network of Exchange
for Students and Youths (JENESYS) Programme
on Wednesday, 23 September 2009
Mr Sato, distinguished guests, students, ladies and gentlemen,
I am most delighted to be here today, to join you all on this very special occasion to welcome back our delegates who visited Japan from the 8th to 16th of July 2009 under the Japan-East Asia Network of Exchange for Students and Youths Programme.
We are indeed grateful that forty-six senior secondary students and four teachers from Hong Kong were given the opportunity to visit Japan under the Japanese Government’s sponsorship. Despite the spread of swine flu, the visit was successfully completed and all of them have returned home in good health.
During the nine-day visit, our students have joined classes with local students, participated in school activities and attended lectures conducted by university scholars. They have learnt more about the infrastructure of Japan , in particular, the Japan ’s efforts on conservation and prevention of disasters; and have experienced Japan ’s culture and civilization from a wider perspective. All these valuable and memorable experiences have certainly deepened our students’ understanding of Japan and promote friendship between the two places. This fruitful visit has fully accomplished the objectives of the Programme, which aim at broadening our students’ horizon and facilitating cultural and educational exchanges.
I am glad to learn that an alumni association was set up after last year’s visit to facilitate continual exchange amongst student-delegates who participated in the Programme. I am sure that our students will continue to benefit from taking part in the activities of the association.
Last year, Mr Michael Suen, our Secretary for Education, quoted at the Launching Ceremony an old Chinese saying “It is better to travel ten thousand miles than to read ten thousand books (讀萬卷書不如行萬里路)”. To echo this saying, I wish to quote the saying of a contemporary Chinese educator, Mr Tao Xingzhi (陶行知), that “Knowledge starts from actions, and action produces knowledge (行是知之始，知是行之成)”. I hope all of you can uphold what you have learnt in your visit, deepen your understanding of Japan and share your knowledge and experiences among your fellow students.
Finally, I would like to thank the Government of Japan and Mr Sato, the Consul-General and Ambassador of Japan , for inviting our students to join this meaningful Programme. May I take this opportunity to wish the Programme every success for the years to come.
Wishing you all the best! Thank you!