Mr (Armstrong) LEE, distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen,
Good morning. It is my great pleasure to join you all today at the opening ceremony of the Learning and Teaching Expo 2022. I would like to extend a warm welcome and sincere greeting to everyone here.
Themed under “Actualising Future Ready Education”, the 12th Learning and Teaching Expo shares the vision of “Tomorrow’s Learning Today”, and echoes the development direction of education for our country and Hong Kong. Nowadays, human knowledge is entering an era of rapid exponential growth. Coupled with the swift advancement of technology in the last decades, the way of learning now sees no boundaries of time and space; educators around the world are striving to bring teaching and learning effectiveness to new heights by integrating innovative technologies into the classroom.
As emphasised in the 20th National Congress of Communist Party of China, it is fundamental to “invigorate the country through science and education and develop a strong workforce for the modernisation drive”. The Hong Kong SAR Government will continue to give our highest priority to the development of education, which is also the key to build self-reliance and strength in science and technology.
The Chief Executive has stressed in his Policy Address this year that young people are Hong Kong’s future and “Hong Kong will prosper only when its young people thrive”. To this end, we are working to unleash the potential of students and enhance teaching and learning effectiveness. We will step up the promotion of “STEAM” education, “for all”, “for fun” and “for diversity” in primary and secondary schools. Our aim is to build a solid foundation for students in support of our direction of promoting innovation and technology (I&T) development in Hong Kong.
The Education Bureau (EDB) has been enhancing the educational curriculum over the years to incorporate advanced I&T elements. We have introduced coding education to ICT subjects since 1982. We have never stopped promoting the use of IT learning and teaching tools in schools to enhance the effectiveness of STEAM learning and teaching, develop students’ problem-solving and creative abilities, as well as facilitating their mastery of basic STEAM skills. To add more fun into learning, we have made use of programmable single-board microcomputers and sensors, drones and e-learning devices for cross-disciplines coding learning activities; and adopted AI platforms to create music, pictures and games. I am excited to share with you our students’ accomplishment in various international I&T-related competitions. To name a few, our students won four gold medals, two silver medals and one bronze medal at the 6th International Olympiad of Metropolises; and three gold medals and two silver medals in the 51st International Physics Olympiad. In addition, they have showcased their remarkable percipience and excellence and won two gold and four silver medals in the 18th International Junior Science Olympiad held last year. We should all be proud of their achievements.
Teachers are the driving force of students’ growth. To strengthen teachers’ capacity to develop computational thinking, problem-solving skills and creativity of students, the EDB has organised various professional development programmes to promote the use of IT tools in schools for both hands-on and minds-on learning activities. We will continue to work closely with frontline teachers, professional bodies and organisations, tertiary institutions and the IT industry with a view to incorporating related pedagogies or skills, classroom applications and good practices into the professional development programmes. This is to strengthen teachers’ professional capacity in designing and organising meaningful STEAM-related learning activities. We will also build up our on-site support on “Using IT tools to promote STEAM education” provided by the IT in Education Centre of Excellence to disseminate successful experiences.
Apart from brushing up students’ I&T skills, we also strive to cultivate their positive values and attitudes. We will put particular focus on enhancing their media and information literacy in the digital era so as to groom them into ethical users of information technology. On this basis, the EDB released the draft updated version of the “Information Literacy for Hong Kong Students” Learning Framework in August. We are now working on the various learning resource materials for schools’ reference and deployment.
The government, the education sector and other key stakeholders, all have a vital and indispensable role to play in nurturing quality talents. Thanks to their concerted efforts, I am proud to announce that Hong Kong has ranked third in Asia-Pacific for digital competitiveness in the World Competitiveness Yearbook 2022 issued by the International Institute for Management Development. We have also secured the first place in Asia-Pacific and the third place globally in the Smart Centres Index this year released by London’s leading commercial think-tank, and stood Hong Kong as one of the leading hubs in the development of new technology. The result again is very encouraging.
Ladies and gentlemen, I call upon your support, especially those from the I&T sector, to help us achieve our goals of nurturing young talents. I hope we could continue to strengthen our precious partnership and work hand-in-hand to equip our younger generations with the essential skills for a better future for mankind. I owe great gratitude to the Hong Kong Education City for making the Learning and Teaching Expo possible amidst the lingering pandemic; and my heartfelt appreciation goes to all of you for your unfailing support and participation. Last but not least, I wish you all a fruitful and inspiring experience. Thank you.