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SED: Young people must learn to serve and serve to learn (with photos)

     Young people must learn to serve and also need to serve to learn, for their own betterment as well as a caring and inclusive society, the Secretary for Education (SED), Mr Eddie Ng Hak-kim, said today (June 26).

     Speaking at the closing ceremony of the ITE-VTC International Student Seminar 2013 in Singapore, Mr Ng said, "This year the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) Government has launched a campaign - 'Hong Kong: Our Home' - with a view to promoting a positive culture in the community.

     "But the HKSAR Government does not organise a variety of programmes directly because we believe that the feeling of thinking Hong Kong as 'home' should be generated from everyone in the community. Thus we encourage various organisations to launch different programmes in their own way.

     "There are certainly some people with special needs in our society, such as the underprivileged, the elderly and the poor. But in fact, they have a lot of strengths," he added.

     "For instance, they can see the unseen, hear the unheard and touch the untouchable. Therefore, we can serve them and learn from them."

     Back on education, Mr Ng said that it had taken 12 years for Hong Kong to plan, modify and implement its education reform, including the new senior secondary (NSS) curriculum.

     "Other than traditional academic subjects, we have introduced into the NSS curriculum 37 applied learning programmes as elective subjects, as well as other learning experience, because learning is not just about classrooms or textbooks but about personal experience."

     The diversified and balanced curriculum could promote all-round development of students, equipping them to meet the needs and challenges of the 21st century.

     On the main theme of the seminar this year, "Youth in Service, Inspiring Community", the SED told the participating students that they would shoulder the future of the community in 10 to 15 years. He reminded them not to forget the less privileged and the needy ones in the community and expressed great confidence in them to move onward in the spirit of the seminar.

     The ITE-VTC International Student Seminar is a biennial event organised by the Singapore Institute of Technical Education and the Hong Kong Vocational Training Council, the largest providers of vocational education and training in Singapore and Hong Kong respectively.

     This year the seminar provided a platform for hundreds of students from around the world including Singapore, Hong Kong, Australia and Germany, to engage in in-depth discussions on current issues related to developments around the globe.

Ends/Wednesday, June 26, 2013
Issued at HKT 18:58


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