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SED commends teachers on Teachers' Day Celebration 2008 (with photo)

     The Secretary for Education, Mr Michael Suen, today (September 12) commended teachers on their positive attitude in meeting the ever-increasing demands of the teaching profession.

     Speaking at the "Salute to Teachers 2008 - Teachers' Day and Commendation Certificate Presentation Ceremony" today (September 12), he also said the Government was concerned about the difficulties facing teachers and had taken appropriate measures to improve their working environment so they could devote more of their time and effort to teaching.

     He said, "We implemented the Pre-primary Education Voucher Scheme in kindergartens from the 2007-08 school year. In primary and secondary schools, the ratio of Graduate Master was increased to 45% and 80% respectively. The ratio will further be raised to a respective 50% and 85% in the next school year to enhance the status and professional standards of teachers.

     "To reduce the impact of the decreasing student population on the school sector, we have lowered the standard class size of primary schools starting from this school year and will gradually reduce the number of students allocated to each Secondary One class from the 2009-10 school year. On integrated education, we have increased the subsidy to schools and strengthened the related teacher training. I hope these initiatives will help teachers iron out some of the difficulties."

     Mr Suen also said information technology had provided students with multiple channels to access information and that a more complex social environment had exposed students to unheard of distractions.  As a result, teachers nowadays had to work much harder to teach their students effectively and to open their minds.

     "Faced with this challenge, most teachers proactively pursue continuing professional development to improve their teaching effectiveness," he said.  "They adjust their teaching strategies according to students' diversified learning needs to achieve the best learning outcome.  They mix well with their students to better understand their thoughts and problems so as to help them establish proper values."

     Mr Suen metaphorically compared teachers to Bo Le, an ancient Chinese who was believed to have discovered the winged steed.  Mr Suen said he believed that there should be good teachers who rendered love and care to their students and taught them according to their ability and needs so that they could be brought up to become pillars of society.  "I firmly believe that all teachers are the Bo Le of their students," he told teachers attending today's ceremony.

     About 1,300 teachers from primary and secondary schools and kindergartens were presented with commendation certificates under the "Teachers' Commendation Scheme" during the ceremony.  The scheme is in its 13th year and aims to foster a culture of respect for teachers.  Under this scheme, kindergartens, primary schools and secondary schools are invited to nominate two teachers who have shown commitment and excellence in teaching.

     Today's event, organised by the Committee on Respect Our Teachers Campaign (CROTC), was fully supported by the Education Bureau. Also present at the ceremony were the Permanent Secretary for Education, Mr Raymond Wong; the Chairman of the Curriculum Development Council, Prof Edmond Ko; the Chairman of the Advisory Committee on Teachers' Education and Qualifications, Mr Cheung Pak-hong; and the CROTC Chairman, Mr William Lee.

Ends/Friday, September 12, 2008
Issued at HKT 15:39


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