Courses upgrade teaching skills
SECONDARY and pre-school teachers are upgrading their teaching skills by enrolling in various profession training programmes organised by the Government-funded Hong Kong Teachers' Centre (HKTC).
The centre aims to promote continued professional development and professionalism among teaching staff in a non-hierarchical environment.
Mr Chan Wai-shing, Acting Principal Inspector of the Education Department who is in charge of the centre, said the HKTC was managed by seven staff from the department with in-service teachers giving advice and organising some of the activities.
The centre operates out of a former primary school in Pak Fuk Road at North Point.
No membership is required and all teachers are encouraged to make use of the centre's facilities, including the Multi-media Professional Library.
One of the most popular teaching training programmes is the 'Orientation Programme for Beginner Teachers', which has attracted 361 participants since 1990.
'Undoubtedly, the teachers who took part in the programmes felt the need to upgrade themselves in the profession. It is important for such programmes to continue even though the centre needs more resources,' said Mr Leung Siu-tong, chairman of the Advisory Management Committee of the centre.
Only secondary school teachers are invited to take part in the programme, which costs $200 each.
The programme provides courses for a variety of subjects, including Chinese/Chinese History, English, Mathematics, Physics, Chemistry, Biology, Geography, Economics and History.
The most popular is the Chinese/Chinese History course which has 100 participants.
The course is conducted by experienced lecturers from universities, education bodies and schools.
Besides training courses for secondary school teachers, the centre also offers programmes for pre-school teachers.
'Since the professional entry requirement for pre-school education is not very high, it may be quite difficult for them to adapt to the profession and fit into their teaching roles,' said Advisory Management Committee vice-chairman Ho King-on.
To cope with this, the centre offers several English pronunciation programmes, elementary orientation programmes and 'paper-folding' courses.
Mr Ho said it had been found that paper-folding helped children develop their minds.
The 800-square metre site in North Point will be extended in July when the Cheung Sha Wan Government Secondary School allows the centre to use its top floor.
By September 1996, the new centre will have the whole building to use.