15 January 2013 (Tuesday)
3:00 – 5:30 pm
HKAGE Annual Hotung Lecture
Auditorium, Hong Kong Federation of Youth Groups Building
21 Pak Fuk Road, North Point
Speech by Mr Ng Hak-kim, SBS, JP
Secretary for Education
Theme: Importance of GE in the HK Context
Mr Irving Koo, Dr Stephen Tommis, Dr David Yun Dai, distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen,
I am very delighted to meet so many dedicated educators, school principals, teachers and parents here today.
Before we have the inspiring talks by the two acclaimed professors, I would like to share with you my views on gifted education in Hong Kong.
Qualities Needed for Leaders of Tomorrow
As we all know, Hong Kong does not have a lot of natural resources. There is, however, a goldmine of talents. Nurturing our younger generations to meet challenges ahead in the 21st century has always been one of our key missions in education to enhance our international competitiveness. Our leaders of tomorrow should have a creative and flexible mind, strong leadership skills and proactive visions with a global perspective. The future of Hong Kong counts on our children with these qualities, which could only be developed through education.
Gifted Education is Necessary
While most people think that gifted education is for the exceptionally gifted, we believe that gifted education should be for all students. Every student should have the opportunity to develop self-confidence and become high achievers. Effective practices for gifted learners are also invariably good practices for all students.
Students with exceptional abilities, including those gifted ones who are at risk, are present in all educational settings. Learning opportunities and suitable challenges in consideration of their abilities and keen interests would be indispensable for helping them develop to their full potential.
Achievements of HK Students – Snapshots in Learning Journey
Recently, we have received encouraging news regarding the outstanding achievements of Hong Kong students in international studies, such as TIMSS, PIRLS, PISA and the Pearson Report, not to mention their achievements in various international and national Olympiads. All of these are acknowledgements of our students’ high performances, and our education system’s top global ranking.
Looking ahead, we should explore more opportunities and provide more challenges for our gifted students to excel themselves.
The philosophy of Confucianism tells us that all people are teachable, improvable and perfectible through hard work and practice. Meanwhile, Western studies stress the importance of different learning theories, thinking methods, curriculum models and the concept of ‘nature and nurture’. Hong Kong is a place where East meets West. Building on our strengths, we help our children become confident, competent and competitive global citizens.
This year, the Hotung Lecture continues to provide an important platform for the cross fertilisation of thoughts from the East and the West. We are happy to have renowned academics from the Mainland and overseas to share with us their insights and latest research findings in gifted education. I am sure that we will all find the sharing fruitful and beneficial.
Let’s work as one for the betterment of our young generation.