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Wednesday, January 05, 2000, updated at 09:12(GMT+8)
Education HK Must Meet Education Needs in New Millennium

The education system of Hong Kong must ensure that all students are information technology IT) literate with some of them having the potential to become leaders in the field, said Joseph W P Wong, secretary for education and manpower, on January 4.

He made the remarks while addressing the 13th International Congress for School Effectiveness and Improvement attended by some 900 representatives from 20 economies.

He emphasized the education needs of Hong Kong in the new millennium to respond to the challenges of the future world and highlighted five priority areas of Hong Kong's education needs.

Besides IT education, Wong said, the education system must nurture the students to develop the aptitude to learn continuously, because the defining feature of a knowledge-based economy is the fast and continuous emergence of new ideas in all sectors which requires people to respond quickly.

"Thirdly, our education system must equip our children with good communication skills. The world is becoming increasingly globalized. To exploit the potentials of this trend, we need international citizens who have a global outlook and to appreciate other values and cultures.

"The fourth, our education system needs a dedicated and professional teaching force.

"Finally, there must be flexibility in the education system to promote diversity and excellence, and nurture creativity in our students. The system must allow room for schools and educators to innovate, and to respond to the changing demands of parents," he added.

Wong said the importance which the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region government attaches to education is best illustrated by the fact that education is the single biggest item of public expenditure.

"In this financial year, we will be spending 55 billion HK dollars (US$7.05 billion) on education, taking up about 20 percent of total government expenditure," he said.

In his speech, the secretary for education and manpower also briefly introduced Hong Kong's latest developments in the areas of IT in education, making Hong Kong a learning society, improving the languages standard of Hong Kong people, enhancing the quality of principals and teachers, and promoting diversity and excellence in the education system.

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