VTC broadens choices
Training options for girls have been few but that is changing, reports MIRANDA
Girls who leave school after Form Three to begin technical training will from this year be given more subject choices.
The Vocational Training Council (VTC) is offering a one-year Basic Commercial Studies course.
The VTC's seven technical institutes will run the course, admitting a total of about 280 students.
VTC Education Officer (Administration) Ng Kwong-kan said the number of places would depend on student response.
The course will include commercial theories, book-keeping, commercial English, economics and typing.
It will qualify students for VTC bridging courses, giving them the opportunity to gain higher academic qualifications.
The VTC and Education Department held a seminar to provide teachers with information about the course.
Wong Kai-wai, who has been careers adviser at Islamic Kasim Tuet Memorial College for more than 10 years, said: 'Not many girls take the VTC courses. Take car mechanics as an example. Girls may not be able to find a job even after finishing the course.
'Girls must consider a career path or they will be wasting their time with the VTC courses.' More boys than girls applied for VTC courses, he said.
'It may be because boys get worse results than girls, or it could be because the courses are more suitable for boys.
'However, more girls applied for VTC courses this year, and most chose commercial studies,' he said.
Mr Wong advised students to choose their subjects according to their interests, rather than following gender stereotypes.
'Society is changing, there are female firemen and policewomen carry guns,' he said.
St Margaret's Girls' College careers adviser, Yeung Lai-chun, said: 'Few of our girls apply for VTC courses each year. Many instead choose to study Form Four at private schools.' Over the past eight years, Ms Yeung has taken many students to visit the technical institutes, but said the girls had just not been interested.
'Some may try subjects like printing or jewellery design. But they find the training too tough for them,' Ms Yeung said.