THE Education Department is promoting a special child-centred approach in learning with the launch of two 13-minute video programmes. Titled ''Active Learning'' and ''Forerunners of Primary Education'', the programmes give audiences a clear picture of the ''activity approach'' that promotes learning through activities in the classroom. The target audiences are primary school teachers and parents of primary school students. The programmes encourage parents to support the approach by sending their children to schools that use the concept in their teaching. The programmes also show parents how they can help their children to cope with the expectations of such classes. The video will be made available to all primary schools and relevant institutions. Speaking at a recent ceremony to launch the video, the Director of Education, Mr Dominic Wong Shing-wah, said the activity approach offers children a stimulating learning environment. ''Under the teachers' carefully designed activities, children become interested in learning and motivate themselves to study,'' he said. Children are encouraged to learn at their own pace and think and analyse according to their abilities. Specific learning topic units are devised, and these become a direct part of the main curriculum, but at the same time minimising unnecessary repetition. The approach also involves learning through group activities which in turn allows for wider student participation. The activity approach was first introduced as a pilot scheme by the Curriculum Committee in September 1972 to experiment with learning in an informal way. Since then, 262 primary schools throughout the territory have adopted the approach, operating altogether 2,540 classes. These classes are mainly at the levels of Primary 1 to 3. The approach was recommended in the 1981 White Paper on Primary Education and Pre-primary Services, and the Education Commission Report No. 4 in 1991. Mr Wong said the approach was part of the department's aim to improve the quality of education. He said special subsidies have been set aside to encourage primary schools to adopt the teaching approach. The video programmes were produced on a $30,000 donation from the Tung Wah Group of Hospitals.