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Speech by Ms Michelle Li Permanent Secretary for Education of HKSAR “Dialogue at Secondary Schools (with Shaw Laureates)” in The Inaugural Hong Kong Laureate Forum

Ms Michelle LI, JP
Permanent Secretary for Education 
Speech by Ms Michelle Li
Permanent Secretary for Education of HKSAR
“Dialogue at Secondary Schools (with Shaw Laureates)” in
The Inaugural Hong Kong Laureate Forum
17 November 2023 (Friday)

 

Prof Genzel, Prof Greenberg, Prof Hartl, Prof Cheeger, Dr Carmen Wong, Principal Lin, teachers and students,

 

   Good morning.  It is my great pleasure to join you all today at “Dialogues at Secondary School (with Shaw Laureates)”, which is one of the signature programmes of the Inaugural Hong Kong Laureate Forum.   May I first take this opportunity to thank the Hong Kong Laureate Forum Council for organising such a meaningful event, which provides a special occasion for our students to enhance their understanding and interest in science, innovation and technology.


2.  The event today is an occasion for students, like all of you here, to have dialogues with world-renowned scholars on various topics relating to scientific research. This event is particularly meaningful as it promotes active engagement in science by making science, innovation and technology accessible to students, as well as encourages students like you to think about science as a career. The event is about encouraging and stimulating ideas about science, innovation and technology, and sharing of thoughts on how the perception and impacts of science and technology in your lives.


3.  The theme of the Inaugural Forum is “Meeting of Inspirational Minds”. It is impressive to see robust network that comprises 20 Shaw Laureates and esteemed scientists from 30 countries and regions, who are all dedicated to supporting the young generation in Hong Kong in various disciplines relating to science and I&T.   Indeed, the philosophy of the Hong Kong Laureate Forum aligns with our Government’s policy to strengthen STEAM education.


4.  In support of our vision to develop Hong Kong into an international innovation and technology hub, the Education Bureau has been stepping up the promotion of STEAM education for all, for fun and for diversity. We have just announced the introduction of a new Science subject in primary school curriculum whilst also enriching computational thinking and coding education in upper primary schools.  We are introducing more innovative components such as AI and enhancing mathematical modelling in secondary schools.  Around 35% of publicly-funded university undergraduate places will be devoted to STEAM-related disciplines.  In tandem, we are taking further steps to identify and nurture local STEAM talents by promoting the setting up of school-based talent pool in schools.  We also boost the support for the Hong Kong Academy for Gifted Education to arrange for students with exceptional potential to participate in systematic off-school advanced training programmes, and territory-wide, cross-territory, national, and international competitions to showcase their talents to the full.  Over the years, it is very encouraging to see that Hong Kong students have consistently excelled with awards gained in prestigious competitions such as International Biology Olympiad, International Mathematical Olympiad and the International Physics Olympiad and more.  The students’ achievements are definitely brought about by their hard work, perseverance and essentially, the support of their schools in nurturing students’ passion for Science and Mathematics.  Whilst awards are bonuses and recognition of their achievements, we hope students also enjoy the process and challenges along the way.  I truly believe that students will grow with these rewarding experience.


5.  Dear students, we are in a world where new technologies emerge at a lightning speed, while at the same time societal and environmental challenges are ahead. In face of the rapid changes, you have to prepare yourself with “future-readiness” and a growth mindset, and be resilient to uncertainties and adversities.  Today is a golden opportunity for all of us to learn from the distinguished scientists -- not only their scientific knowledge but also lessons on their life journeys.  Perhaps we can distil some recipes for success such as their curiosity and mental agility, their team work and collaboration, their courage to try and fail but not give up, their perseverance and resilience, their passion to explore and extend the frontier of knowledge.  I believe the dialogues with the renowned scientists today will enlighten you on innovative solutions that contribute to our society with new challenges ahead.


6.  Before I conclude I would like to express my heartfelt appreciation to the Hong Kong Laureate Forum for the continued effort in organising this meaningful event. May I wish you all a very fruitful exchange of ideas and a pleasant day!