'Dull' adult education system reviewed
A review of adult education courses is to be conducted because they have become obsolete and dull, the education chief said yesterday.
Secretary for Education and Manpower Fanny Law Fan Chiu-fun said the Government's evening school courses, run by the Education Department, now failed to address the community's needs. 'These courses may not meet the needs of many adults because the curriculums, which are designed for Hong Kong Certificate of Education Examination, are rather dull,' she said on a Commercial Radio programme yesterday.
Mrs Law said the Government would review adult education following the allocation in this year's Budget of an additional $72 million over the next two years.
In the 2000-01 financial year, the Education Department spent $64.4 million for adult education courses at government evening schools and another $17.5 million was offered to non-governmental institutions. About 13,800 places ranging from Primary Three to Secondary Seven were offered in the schools.
Mrs Law said the Government would work with adult education institutions to provide courses tailored to adult needs. The courses will be more practical, focusing on languages, IT and interpersonal skills.
Simon Wong Chi-hong, dean of the school of continuing education at Baptist University, agreed current courses were not helpful. 'The students are supposed to sit public examinations. But they are disadvantaged in competing for Secondary Six places with other day-school students,' he said.
Andrew Ma Yat-bong, co-ordinator of the Caritas Adult and Higher Education Service, said it was the first time Government had tackled deficiencies in adult education. 'About 30 per cent of people at work only have junior secondary education. The Government should set up a ladder for continuing education from primary to post-secondary,' he said.