20 May 2010 (Thursday)
Hong Kong Annual Gifted Education Conference 2010
Speech by Mr Raymond H C Wong,
Permanent Secretary for Education
Honoured Guests, Principals and Teachers,
Good morning. We are here today to share the good practices in developing curriculum and instruction for the gifted. I am delighted to welcome all our committed educators, guests, speakers and participants, to exchange insightful experiences and ideas in nurturing our young potential leaders and innovators of tomorrow.
Like all learners, the gifted need frequent opportunities to transfer their knowledge and understanding from the textbook to real-world applications. They need a secure and challenging learning environment to thrive. They also need to learn beyond the classroom. This open and conducive learning culture demands the skilful teacher’s well-grounded decisions to cater for the high-attaining students’ intellectual and affective needs. Furthermore, gifted students need to learn to make connections across subjects. They need to be supported in taking learning initiatives, with their interests and learning styles valued and addressed. They need to learn to be open to others’ ideas and opinions. They need better exposure through enriched learning experiences with suitable challenges. All these needs should be well catered for when designing the curriculum and instruction for the gifted. This is never an easy mission to accomplish. Nonetheless, this is the mission we are undertaking concertedly every day.
‘Nurturing gifts: Enriching learning experiences’, the theme of this year’s annual gifted education conference, addresses a significant concern of teachers of gifted students. We are striving for excellence in education to do everything we can to develop and stretch our gifted students’ abilities to their full potential. Their learning should never be confined by a syllabus. We have to lift the ceiling. We need to foster interdisciplinary learning. We are aiming to guide our gifted students to the highest form of success which will not come easily but which will bring about the most rewarding achievements they value in life.
Later today, renowned academics and practitioners in gifted education will convene the sessions on enriching the learning experiences of the gifted. I wish you all a fruitful and inspiring exchange.
May I congratulate all those who have worked hard to make this conference a success. My gratitude also goes to the Hong Kong Academy for Gifted Education for co-organising the conference with us, and the InnoCentre for providing the venue and other assistance.
I would like to conclude by quoting JF Kennedy : “There are risks and costs to action. But they are far less than the long range risks of comfortable inaction”.