Opening Ceremony of Learning and Teaching Expo 2017
Mr Lee (Chairman of the Board of Directors of Hong Kong Education City Limited and Vice-President (Administration), City University of Hong Kong, Mr Sunny Lee), distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen,
Good morning. It is my great pleasure to join you all today at the Learning and Teaching Expo 2017 presented by the Hong Kong Education City. First of all, I would like to extend my warmest welcome to all of you, especially the visitors who come from abroad.
The Learning and Teaching Expo is Asia's leading education exposition and Hong Kong's annual signature education event. The Expo has entered its eighth year and it provides a platform for education professionals and technology practitioners to get together and exchange views on the smart use of technology to enhance interactive learning and teaching experience. The theme this year is "Tomorrow's Learning Today". I am pleased to know that in this three-day Expo there are over 300 exhibition booths and 200 sessions of presentations, seminars, lesson demonstrations and workshops on a great variety of topics. This is an excellent platform for participants to discover the latest developments in educational resources and learning technology. In fact, quite a number of schools in Hong Kong are taking this Expo as a valuable opportunity for professional development. The insight and inspiration teachers can get from this event will further motivate them to keep pace with the latest trends in education and prepare themselves for upcoming challenges.
Last month, the results of the Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) 2015 were released. We are glad to know of the pleasing performance of Hong Kong students in the area of collaborative problem solving. Including Hong Kong, 52 economies participated in the assessment and our 15-year-old students ranked third. Such achievements are the result of the concerted efforts of schools and teachers, as well as the support of various stakeholders in taking forward education reforms.
We believe that the good performance of our students in PISA is also attributed to well-devised education policies, including various strategies on information technology (IT) in education, which enable students to use different e-learning platforms and tools for collaborative learning, and the Learning to Learn curriculum reform, which emphasises the development of students' generic skills, such as collaboration skills and problem solving skills, and encourages them to learn through project-based learning and other enquiry-based learning activities. We have been gauging the impact of e-learning in schools through surveys and case study. It was found that the use of e-learning in classroom can be associated with many 21st century skills. Most notable are the skills for critical thinking, communicating and collaborating with others, making informed judgement and using information in innovative ways. Acquisition of these skills enables students to solve real-life problems through collaboration.
The World Economic Forum also released the latest Global Competitiveness Report in September this year, and Hong Kong ranked sixth among 137 economies. Hong Kong is the only economy within the region that is ranked among the top 10 globally in "technological readiness". This achievement, to a great extent, is attributable to Hong Kong's robust ICT infrastructure and application. As regards "ICT use", Hong Kong ranked second among all the economies.
The advantageous digital environment underpinned by a world-class infrastructure in ICT, together with the ample information available on the Internet, enables Hong Kong students to learn beyond the confines of time and space. By the end of this school year, almost all public sector schools will have basically completed the establishment of Wi-Fi infrastructure. With Wi-Fi connections, students and teachers can all benefit from e-learning on campus. Besides, shortly after taking office, the current-term Government increased the recurrent expenditure on education by $3.6 billion per annum to support quality education with the implementation of a package of priority measures. We have doubled our funding for promotion of IT in education.
Apart from providing resources, we also attach great importance to developing students’ information literacy (IL) and enhancing their awareness of e-safety. The framework on Information Literacy for Hong Kong Students was updated and introduced to schools in late 2016. We aim at developing students as effective and ethical IT users in learning and everyday life, so that they would refrain from delinquencies such as cyberbullying and infringing intellectual property rights. Separately, professional development programmes are organised to enhance teachers' capabilities in implementing IL education through different key learning areas of their school curricula. In our survey conducted in 2017, over 90 per cent of schools indicated that they had promoted IL in their curricula.
To provide quality education and sustain innovation, concerted efforts from all stakeholders are of utmost importance. In Hong Kong, we achieve synergy by working with schools, teachers' professional associations, IT companies and publishers. In particular, Hong Kong Education City, as our closest partner, has put tremendous effort into exploring innovative learning and teaching resources and partnering with other places to provide teachers with fresh insights. Today's Expo is one of the many opportunities offered by Hong Kong Education City for featuring, sharing and consolidating innovative ideas.
Tomorrow's learning is being showcased today. We all have the opportunity to prepare ourselves for tomorrow and to be one of the change agents heading towards future. I wish all of you a fruitful and unforgettable experience in the coming few days as you explore the trends in education and make new friends with people with common goals. I hope that you enjoy every precious and exciting moment in this Expo. Thank you.