Council to merge related courses

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 29 April, 2006, 12:00am
UPDATED : Saturday, 29 April, 2006, 12:00am

The Vocational Training Council is to streamline the courses it offers for secondary school students from September and cut the least popular options.

The council is a leading provider working with the Education and Manpower Bureau on a pilot programme for the career-oriented curriculum (CoC). It runs 21 programmes in subjects from entertainment business operations to western food preparation for about 2,300 students.

From September, the number of programmes will be cut to 10 as some courses are merged, with one forming a stream or option under another, while some unpopular engineering courses are dropped. The number of students taking the courses is expected to remain about the same.

Director Dr Lo Kin-ki said: 'We reviewed all the CoC courses that we offer in November last year. The review showed that we need to rationalise the programmes because some courses have common core elements. The VTC will still offer the same breadth. The EMB classifies courses across six areas and we have the same coverage.

'We also found that there are courses that after one or two years still have relatively low attendance. We have not dropped the idea of running CoC courses in engineering. But we have to find ways of making engineering much more relevant and interesting.'

Dr Lo said the council would continue to offer all CoC courses in two modes, with courses offered jointly by schools and the council's Institute of Vocational Education colleges in one, and those offered entirely by the colleges in the other.

Courses being merged include fundamental western food preparation and fundamental western bakery, which becomes western cuisine, with separate culinary arts and bakery and pastry arts streams, and creative multi-media studies and game design, with the latter becoming an option under the former.

Those due to close include vehicles maintenance, building services design and robotics.

Peter Cheung Po-tak, executive director of the Hong Kong Council for Academic Accreditation, said on Thursday that the VTC would be the first body in Hong Kong to gain a new form of accreditation covering whole programme areas.