VIII. Nurturing Talents and Youth Development
Vision for Education
137. Talent is the most important element in the future development of Hong Kong and education is the key to nurturing talents. During my term of office, I have been proactively realising my vision for education, i.e. nurturing our young people into quality citizens with a sense of national identity and social responsibility, an affection for Hong Kong as well as an international perspective. I have also delivered my electoral promise by providing additional resources for education. However, as a minority of our students have been deluded and radicalised to take part in illegal acts and even participate in organising extreme political activities, we must pay more attention to the sense of national identity, values and civic-mindedness of our next generation.
Strengthening Government’s Role
138. A nation will prosper when its young people thrive. The role of a government in education for a nation or region is not merely a provider of resources, but also a policy maker, administrator and regulator. To enhance the quality of education, I have always heeded the advice of stakeholders in the education sector, and have asked the EDB to conduct in-depth reviews on eight areas of education to come up with recommendations on how our education system can be improved. I am glad to see that the EDB is working with school sponsoring bodies, schools and relevant institutions on the implementation of the recommendations. Meanwhile, the EDB must also safeguard the well-being of students by effectively monitoring and following up on any issues that involve school management and the conduct of teachers, with a view to restoring Hong Kong’s educational order.
Early Childhood Education
139. The current-term Government has devoted substantial resources to early childhood education, with the aim of providing highly affordable and good quality kindergarten education to all children, irrespective of their family background. Currently, as many as 90% of the half-day kindergartens joining the kindergarten education scheme are free of charge. We will further enhance the professional development of teachers, reinforce the support to students with diverse needs, strengthen the Quality Assurance Framework, promote parent education, etc. with a view to improving the quality of education.