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Quality education plans unveiled

October 11, 2017

Chief Executive Carrie Lam has outlined plans to improve the learning environment in public schools, enhance the Continuing Education Fund and strengthen the development of the Qualifications Framework.


Delivering her 2017 Policy Address today, Mrs Lam said education is the key to nurturing talent, and government expenditure on education is the most meaningful investment for Hong Kong's future development.


She said public schools will receive a recurrent air-conditioning grant from the next school year so students and teachers can enjoy a more comfortable environment in hot weather. 


The Government will inject $1.5 billion into the Continuing Education Fund to improve its operation. The injection will benefit 150,000 people and the fund's operation will be extended to 2024.


Mrs Lam added the Government will inject $1.2 billion into the Qualifications Framework Fund to strengthen the framework's development, enhance recognition of qualifications for different industries, and provide young people with quality-assured pathways for further studies and career development.


Moreover, the Partnership Fund for the Disadvantaged will get an injection of $400 million, including $200 million for implementing after-school learning and support programmes. The move will benefit some 130,000 grassroots children.


On school curriculum, Mrs Lam said the Education Bureau will make Chinese History an independent compulsory subject for junior secondary students from the next school year to nurture students' sense of national identity.


The bureau will also enrich Mainland exchange programmes to enable more teachers and students to widen their horizons through visiting Belt & Road provinces and cities, the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Bay Area and Mainland enterprises in the innovation and technology sector.


On university education, Mrs Lam said the Government has invited the University Grants Committee to set up a task force, to be chaired by Prof Tsui Lap-chee, to review research support strategy, the level of research funding and the funding allocation mechanism.


For the self-financing post-secondary sector, the Government will set up another task force, to be chaired by Prof Anthony Cheung, to review the way forward for sub-degree programmes and other issues. 


She also proposed to set up a $12 billion Hostel Development Fund, aiming to increase hostel facilities at a faster pace.