116. The decade following Hong Kong's return to the motherland has seen a growing sense of national identity in our community. To prepare ourselves for the next decade, we must have a better understanding of our country's development and a stronger sense of our national and cultural identity. If Hong Kong people make their life and career plans from the perspective of national development, both individual citizens and the community at large will surely have a brighter future.
117. At the welcoming banquet the HKSAR Government hosted on 30 June this year, President Hu Jintao earnestly advised that "we should put more emphasis on national education for the youth in Hong Kong and promote exchanges between them and the young people of the Mainland so that they will carry forward the Hong Kong people's great tradition of loving the motherland and loving Hong Kong".
118. The future lies with our young people. In the interest of our country's development and the continued success of "One Country, Two Systems", the HKSAR Government will make every effort to promote national education. In particular, we will attach great importance to promoting national education among our young people, so that they grow to love our motherland and Hong Kong, aspire to win honour and make contributions for our country, and have a strong sense of pride as nationals of the People's Republic of China.
119. The promotion of national education is an undertaking of the whole community. The HKSAR Government will work closely with various sectors in the community, in particular the education sector, to enhance our young people's awareness and understanding of our country's development, the land and the people, the history and the culture. This can be done through different means and channels, such as classroom teaching, teacher education, extra-curricular activities and exchanges with young people from the Mainland. The objective is to foster among young people a sense of affinity with our motherland and heighten their sense of national pride and identity.
120. We will give more weight to the elements of national education in the existing primary and secondary curricula and the new senior secondary curriculum framework to help students acquire a clearer understanding of our country and a stronger sense of national identity. The Government will also encourage more schools to form flag guard teams and to stage more national flag-raising ceremonies, and subsidise more Mainland study trips and exchange programmes for youths. We will rally the efforts of various sectors to bring about synergy in enhancing the overall effectiveness of national education.
Promoting the Olympic Spirit
121. The 2008 Beijing Olympic Games presents an excellent opportunity to promote national education. We will highlight this important event as the main theme of our promotional activities, so people will understand our country better and have a shared sense of national pride. We will also take this opportunity to promote sports among the public by making available the sports and recreational facilities managed by the LCSD for public use free of charge from 1 July to 30 September 2008. These facilities include public swimming pools, water sports centres, tennis courts, squash courts and holiday camps.