Full education review to set new direction

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 01 April, 1998, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 01 April, 1998, 12:00am

Heads of higher education institutes and secondary schools will co-operate to review the entire education system for the first time, to ensure graduates of each stage are up to standard.

The possible extension of tertiary education to four years will also be on the agenda of the taskforce to be set up soon to conduct the review.

It will comprise five representatives from major secondary school associations and four heads from tertiary institutes.

Recommendations on the direction of education - encompassing pre-primary, primary, secondary and tertiary sectors - will be made in six months.

The establishment of the taskforce was announced yesterday following a meeting between heads of the eight government-funded tertiary institutes and chairmen of five major secondary school councils.

Professor Poon Chung-kwong, chairman of the Heads of Universities Committee and president of the Polytechnic University, said switching from three-year to four-year tertiary education would enable students to enjoy their education more and take part in extracurricular activities.

'But no consensus has been reached with the secondary school heads. A working group will study this possibility and what problems will be created under such a change,' he said.

He said tertiary institutes would not insist on the four-year system if recommendations from the working group were negative.

The chairman of the Hong Kong Subsidised Secondary Schools Council, John Fan Kam-ping, said four-year tertiary education could mean shortening matriculation, secondary or even primary education.

'There are many options and we have to study them carefully. Also other related topics such as curriculum, textbooks, teacher training and public examinations must also be considered,' he said.

It was also decided yesterday that meetings between representatives of the secondary and tertiary sectors would be held at least once a year.