CHILDREN at the territory's first centre for gifted pupils will be watched by researchers through closed circuit TV and one-way mirrors. Academics want to see how talented youngsters behave in a classroom, and teachers and parents will also be allowed to observe. The $8 million centre, in a converted wing of the vacated Tsuen Wan Government Secondary Technical School, opens next month. More than 1,200 pupils are expected to benefit from the centre as the Education Department trains more teachers to identify and teach gifted children. A number of children with IQs of more than 130 have already taken courses at the half-finished Fung Hon Chu Gifted Education Centre. The department estimates there are less than 20,000 gifted children in the territory. The centre will have a library, computer room, and language and science laboratories. There will also be two teaching rooms connected by an observation area. Closed circuit television sets connected to a video recording system will be installed in these two rooms. Assistant Director of Education (Services), Pun Wang-keung, said: 'The facilities will help researchers observe the learning process of students who will behave more naturally if they don't know they are being watched.' Ruth Lau Wing-mun, Principal Inspector (Psychological Services) of the Education Department, said: 'The area will also allow teachers and parents to see what the children are doing without disturbing their activities. 'Some parents may not know how to deal with children identified as gifted.' Teachers from the 19 schools which have joined a three-year pilot scheme to tailor school-based programmes for gifted children have received specialised training. Pupils from those schools will attend the centre for occasional lessons and seminars. Mr Pun said more teachers could be taught to identify gifted children and help them develop when the centre opened. 'Pre-service teacher training does provide courses on child psychology at present, but there are no clear-cut courses on the teaching of gifted children,' he said. The Board of Education will discuss next Monday whether there is a need to include education of gifted children in initial teacher training. Chairman Tam Man-kwan said: 'The emphasis has been put on how to help the low achievers. Some teachers may be unaware or ignore the special potential of some students.' The use of the site for a gifted education centre was attacked by the Director of Audit last week as not making enough use of a well-situated site. Director of Education Lam Woon-kwong has said the centre is intended for all schools in Hong Kong and had to be in a convenient location.