Opening Speech by
Mrs Marion Lai, JP
Permanent Secretary for Education
at the Welcoming-dinner-cum-introduction Session
of the International Round Table
on Wednesday, 22 April 2015
Professor Cheng, Members of the Standing Committee on Language Education and Research, Distinguished Guests and my Fellow Colleagues,
Good evening. It gives me great pleasure and privilege to participate in this welcoming dinner to mark the opening of the International Round Table organised by the Standing Committee on Language Education and Research (SCOLAR). First, I would like to extend my warmest welcome to all of you.
2. Language is central to better learning and so is pivotal to boosting the competitiveness of Hong Kong. Since its establishment in 1996, SCOLAR has been advising the Government of Hong Kong Special Administrative Region on language education issues in general. It complements the efforts of Government and other advisory bodies and stakeholders in attaining its vision to enable the people of Hong Kong, in particular, students and the workforce, to become bi-literate and tri-lingual whilst charting the way forward in enhancing language learning and teaching through a plethora of initiatives.
3. Themed on “Challenges and Opportunities of Achieving Quality Language Learning and Teaching in Hong Kong”, the International Round Table is the first of its kind organised by SCOLAR. It aims at reflecting on the cutting-edge development of quality language learning and teaching around the globe, and at the same time, discussing the challenges and opportunities of the Hong Kong language education from different perspectives. Thanks to our guests and participants who come from a wide array of backgrounds, including academics, researchers, policy makers and practitioners, I am sure the International Round Table will bring about highly stimulating and enlightening discussion which would help Hong Kong to enhance and refine our current practice and policy positions in a forward looking manner.
4. In a moment, SCOLAR Chairman will introduce to you SCOLAR, its achievements and milestones in language education as well as the latest language education landscape of Hong Kong. In closing, I would like to thank all of you in advance for the insight and wisdom that you are bringing to the International Round Table. I hope all of you will enjoy the dinner and have plenty of pertinent and fruitful deliberations in the following days. For those who have travelled a long way to Hong Kong, I hope you will enjoy your stay in our city. Thank you.