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Support Scheme for e-Learning in Schools

Home | What's New | Use of Funding | Professional Development Programmes | Technical Advisory and Project Management Services | FAQ | Enquiry

 

FAQ

 

General

Q1.

What are the objectives of the “Support Scheme for e-Learning in Schools” (the Scheme)? How would the Scheme be promoted to other schools?

 

A1.

The Scheme aims at providing 100 public sector schools with funding to enhance their WiFi infrastructure to cater for the need of using e-textbooks and e-learning resources in class.  The funding will also allow schools to acquire mobile computing devices sufficient for use in class by students.  With the resources and support from the EDB, both pedagogical and technical, the schools will act as change agent to achieve the following missions –

 

  • To work with service providers to build up the necessary infrastructure conducive to the use of e-textbooks and e-learning resources in class;
  • To act as test bed for the infrastructure build-up process and other value-added service;
  • To establish pedagogical use of e-textbooks and e-learning resources and to build an intra-school community of practice to facilitate whole-school adoption of e-textbooks and e-learning resources and hence e-learning; and
  • To share with other schools the lessons learnt, including setup of relevant community of practice among teachers.

 

The schools joining the Scheme will generate precious experience for reference by other schools. Starting from the second semester of 2014/15 school year, these schools will share their experiences with teachers through seminars and their communities of practice.

 

 

Q2.

What are the selection results of the “Support Scheme for e-Learning in Schools” ?

 

 

A2.

The Education Bureau announced the results of the Support Scheme on e-Learning in Schools on 18 March 2014.  Among 174 school applications, a total of 100 schools were selected to participate in the Support Scheme, including 53 primary schools, 42 secondary schools and 5 special schools.  The selected schools also included 20 schools with students of relatively low social economic status but the schools’ readiness for e-learning are equally strong as compared with other schools.

The Steering Committee on Strategic Development of Information Technology in Education reviewed and confirmed the results on 12 March, in accordance with the selection criteria endorsed earlier.  The selected schools have good foundation in terms of curriculum planning, teachers’ professional development and engagement of stakeholders, with some schools excel in all these areas.

 

Q3.

Is there any appeal system for schools being rejected?

 

A3.

The Steering Committee on Strategic Development of IT in Education will formulate related selection criteria, monitor the selection process and endorse the selection results. According to past practices when handling applications under the “E-Textbook Market Development Scheme (EMADS)”, the selection results are the final decision.

 

 

Use of Funding

 

Q4.

When will the successful school applicants (Schools) receive the grant? Is there any time limit for using the grant? Do Schools need to return the unused funds to the Government?

 

A4.

  • Aided and DSS Schools: Grant will be disbursed to Schools by end-March 2014 and could be used in the next three school years. The grant should be spent on or before 31 August 2017. Any unspent balance of the grant will be clawed back according to the School’s audited accounts as at 31 August 2017 (i.e. end of the 2016/17 school year).
  • Government Schools: Schools will receive the grant by at most four instalments starting from the 2014-15 financial year.  Grants will be allocated according to School’s estimated expenditure in respective financial years.

 

Q5.

Can Schools use the one-off grant to procure / hire services / stores which fall outside the ambit of the grant?  For example, purchase of e-learning resources?

 

A5.

In principle, the one-off grant is only applicable to WiFi facilities / equipment and mobile computing devices. Purchase of services / stores which fall outside the ambit of the grant is not allowed.  Moreover, Schools can only use the grant to enhance or top up their IT infrastructure so as to set up the necessary WiFi environment in their school premises for use of e-textbooks in class and to acquire mobile computing devices for use in class by students.

 

Schools may consider using the Composite IT Grant(CITG) to meet the expenses arising from the IT in Education related activities, including the purchase of facilities / equipment.  For details of the CITG, please visit EDB’s website: http://www.edb.gov.hk/en/edu-system/primary-secondary/applicable-to-primary-secondary/it-in-edu/citg.html.

 

Q6.

What schools should follow for procurement of goods and services?

 

A6.

Schools are reminded to adhere to the related principles of handling schools' finance matters and follow the proper procedures for procurement, accounting and financial control, including EDB Circular No. 4/2013, School Administration Guide, EDB Internal Circulars No. 3/2013, No. 4/2013, Stores and Procurement Regulations, etc. and any other related updates issued to Schools from time to time.

 

Besides, for accounting and auditing purposes, Schools should keep a separate ledger of this one-off grant reflecting clearly all incomes and expenditures chargeable.

 

Q7.

Could Schools use the grant to pay for expenditures related to the enhancement of WiFi infrastructure and/or acquiring mobile computing devices incurred before the disbursement of the grant?

 

A7.

Schools could only use the grant to pay for expenditures incurred after the disbursement of the grant. From the accounting perspective, an expenditure item is incurred at the point when the relevant good or service is received, not at the point when the contract for the provision of relevant good or service is made.

 

 

 

Q8.

Could Schools use the grant to procure digital media player?

 

A8.

Digital media player or other player with access to the Internet is not regarded as a kind of mobile learning device under the Scheme and thus could not be procured using the grant.

 

 

 

 

Professional Development Programmes

Q9.

Apart from the one-off Grant for enhancement of WiFi infrastructure and acquiring mobile computing devices, how will EDB assist the Schools to implement e-learning?

 

 

A9.

EDB will offer a series of professional development programmes to principals, vice principals, middle managers as well as teachers starting from April 2014 to 2016/17 school year to further equip schools to implement e-learning. Priority will be given to the schools joining the Scheme to attend the courses.  These courses will be conducted either in a whole-day or a half-day mode.  Information of these courses will be uploaded onto EDB’s Training Calendar System (TCS) at least 3 weeks before the commencement of the courses. Please feel free to visit TCS for details (https://tcs.edb.gov.hk/tcs/publicCalendar/start.htm) .

 

 

Q10.

Will EDB offer training programmes to teachers and school technicians who are not able to join the Scheme to ensure that their schools can further promote e-learning?

 

A10.

Although the Education Bureau will offer training programmes to principals, middle managers and teachers of Schools, staff of schools not selected is also welcome to join these training programmes. In addition, EDB has organized regular training programmes to assist schools in the implementation of e-learning  in the past few years. In 2012/13 school year, we have offered 390 training programmes on areas related to e-learning, leadership and management, and technology for 6 500 primary and secondary school teachers as well as schools’ technicians. Teachers of schools not joining the Scheme are also encouraged to participate in these training courses to further enrich their knowledge on e-learning.

 

 

Technical Advisory and Project Management Services

 

Q11.

Will the Government provide procurement service for the Schools? If not, how will the Government support these schools so that public fund will be used appropriately?

 

A11.

We consider that to both the Education Bureau and most of the Schools, hire of a service provider to design, build and operate the whole infrastructure through subscription mode is a new attempt, so we need to accumulate experience through the Schools under the Support Scheme to provide the most appropriate services to the other 900 schools not covered by the Scheme when rolling out the large-scale implementation plan in the near future. To assist Schools to accomplish the Scheme, the EDB will provide technical advisory and project management services to assist in the buildup of the WiFi infrastructure. The services will include technical advice on the formulation of user requirements for invitation of quotations/tenders from service providers and monitoring on the work of the contractors.

 

Q12.

What kind of service will be offered by Technical Advisors?

 

A12.

Technical Advisors will help Schools formulate user requirements for invitation of quotations/tenders from service providers and monitoring on the work of contractors in the buildup of the WiFi infrastructure.

 

Q13.

What is the role of School Liaison Officers?

 

A13.

Each school will be assigned with a designated School Liaison Officer from the EDB. The Officer shall ensure effective communication between the school and the Technical Advisor and assist the school in carrying out the Scheme.

 

Q14.

Can Schools make use of the technical advisory and project management services if they choose to build up their WiFi infrastructure on their own?

 

A14.

Schools can still make use of the services. However, Schools have to note that the Technical Advisors are expertise in providing service on adopting subscription mode for building up the WiFi infrastructure and related project management.

 

 

Others

 

Q15.

Should schools accept the bundling sale of WiFi services, tablet computers, e-learning resources, etc from service providers?

 

A15.

Service providers should list the price of every single service or product for schools' reference and sensible selection. Also, schools should not shift the cost of building up WiFi infrastructure to parents through the use of e-learning resources.

 

Q16.

Will the use of Wi-Fi facilities affect the health of human beings?

 

A16.

As WiFi facilities are getting more popular around the world, concerns have been raised about the impacts of radiofrequency (RF) radiation from WiFi networks on human health. According to the World Health Organisation, the exposure levels due to wireless networks (including WiFi) are generally very low and there is no convincing scientific evidence that the weak radiofrequency signals from wireless networks cause adverse health effects.
Relevant information can be accessed at:
World Health Organisation
The Government will also keep in view the latest scientific information for the health effects of wireless networks or mobile phone use in children.

 

 

 

 

 

Last revision date: 04 June 2014
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