22 May 2009 (Friday)
Asian Roundtable of Presidents of Universities of Education 2009
Speech by Mr. Michael M Y Suen, GBS, JP
Secretary for Education
Professor Cheung, Distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen,
Good evening. I am delighted to be here tonight to take part in the Asian Roundtable of Presidents of Universities of Education 2009. I am very pleased to learn that you have a most fruitful discussion today.
To varying degrees, Asian culture and values are subject to the influence of the great Chinese teacher and philosopher, Confucius. The first verse of the first chapter of his immortal work, the “Lun Yu” has this to say – “Confucius said, to learn and to practice what is learned time and again is pleasure, is it not? To have friends come from afar is happiness, is it not? To be imperturbed when not appreciated by others is gentlemanly, is it not?” This quotation, I believe, neatly sums up the underlying reason which brings us together.
We all recognise that quality teaching is vital to the learning and overall development of students. Teachers play a key role in building up a society’s talent pool and in turn help enhance its competitiveness. This is why many places around the world put teacher education on top of their education agenda. And it is no different in Hong Kong.
In this globalised world, there are unprecedented changes both economically and socially. We must equip our young people with the necessary skills to face the challenges that these bring. Teachers nowadays are not only expected to pass on knowledge to students, but to motivate them to develop and to acquire the skills and attitudes for life-long learning. I am sure all these have been taken on board today during sessions where insights and experience were shared.
I am confident that we made a good start for more closer regional collaboration on teacher education. My sincere gratitude goes to the Hong Kong Institute of Education for organizing this meaningful event. I look forward to more regional Roundtables in the future. Last but not least, I wish you all a very pleasant and enjoyable time here for the rest of your stay in Hong Kong.