UNESCO Hong Kong Association
2014/2015 ESD Learning Programme
Closing Ceremony and Award Presentation
Speech by Mrs Marion LAI Chan Chi-kuen, JP
Permanent Secretary for Education
on Saturday, 21 March 2015
Dr Cheung, Professor Chan, Distinguished Guests, Ladies and Gentlemen,
Good morning. It is my honour to be here with you to participate in UNESCO Hong Kong’s Education for Sustainable Development Learning Programme Closing Ceremony and Award Presentation.
2. Education for sustainable development has been one of the areas the Education Bureau strives to promote at school. We are devoted to nurturing our students to become committed world citizens who respect and care for the environment, contributing to sustainable development both locally and globally. We aim to promote in our students a lifelong and forward–looking concern for the environment, and to prepare them for making well-informed, justifiable and practical decisions and take actions that would lead to the creation of sustainable environment in which they thrive and work.
3. To achieve this goal, the Bureau encourages schools to adopt a holistic school curriculum comprising knowledge, skills, value and attitude. Education for sustainable development is an integral part of the primary and secondary school curricula recommended for all local schools. Elements of education for sustainable development are covered in various Key Learning Areas, such as the subject General Studies at primary level; the Personal, Social and Humanities Education Key Learning Area, the Science Education Key Learning Area and the subject Liberal Studies at secondary level. Education for sustainable development is also achieved through Moral and Civic Education at both primary and secondary levels.
4. We always believe that learning can take place beyond the classroom, literally anywhere. EDB encourages schools to organise life-wide learning activities using the resources available in the school and the community, so as to arouse students’ environmental awareness and nurturing the positive value of sustainability as and when appropriate.
5. I am so happy to be here to celebrate with not only the winners but all the participants at this ceremony. I believe that UNESCO Hong Kong’s Education for Sustainable Development Learning Programme is a valuable life-wide learning opportunity for all the participants. Through the diversified programmes, like visits and workshops, not only has your awareness of sustainable living practices and habits been increased substantially but also your readiness to change your behaviour and attitude for a more sustainable future. One more thing, you now think in multiple perspectives and understand the relevance of your learning to the environment, economy, culture, community and sustainable development. You are no longer the person you were five months ago. You may think these changes are small but small changes can lead to profound impact on one’s life. I am also sure that the changes in every single one of you after joining this Programme are leading to the betterment of humankind. Hence today’s closing is but the beginning of a sustainable lifestyle in you.
6. May I take this opportunity to thank all those involved in the collaborative effort behind this UNESCO Programme for giving students in Hong Kong such a great learning opportunity and for their devotion to pursuing sustainable development. Our gratitude should also go to the teachers and the school heads for their dedicated support to their students and their efforts in nurturing young people’s respect and care for the environment.
7. Last but not least, I would like to congratulate all the winners today on their outstanding performance and wish them every success in their future endeavours.
8. I wish you all a colourful weekend. Thank you.