Chief Executive Tung Chee-hwa has advised young people to focus on their studies to better equip themselves to face future challenges. Mr Tung urged teachers and parents to be more concerned about the welfare of students by providing them with the necessary facilities, especially after the release of results of the Hong Kong Certificate of Education Examination. At a meeting with a number of secondary and primary school principals, Mr Tung talked about education reforms. He noted that young people nowadays were facing much tougher competition than before. 'The Government is committed to creating a favourable environment in which young people are provided with opportunities to realise their personal goals through hard work,' he said. Mr Tung was speaking to 13 secondary and primary school principals who recently took part in study tours organised by the Chinese History and Culture Educational Foundation for Youth. The Chief Executive said that embracing the knowledge-based economy required the introduction of education reforms. He pointed out that reforming education was a mammoth and arduous task. It required the creation of the necessary complementary conditions. Before we could see results, we needed a step-by-step process of implementation, review, improvement and consolidation. Mr Tung said: 'We will seek to establish a partnership with the sponsoring organisations of schools, principals, teachers and parents to implement the reforms. I hope that educational workers and parents will remain open-minded and actively take part in the reform process. 'The Government has continued to allocate more and more resources to education. Total spending on education amounts to $56 billion this year, as compared to $37.9 billion in the 1996/1997 financial year,' he said. 'The percentage of whole-day primary school places will rise to more than 40 per cent in the new academic year. Graduate posts in primary schools will increase to 35 per cent from less than five per cent in previous years. 'We are also speeding up the improvement of school premises to provide a better teaching and learning environment. 'On tertiary education, we will seek to achieve the objective of having 60 per cent, as compared to the present 30 per cent, of our senior secondary school leavers receiving tertiary education within ten years.' Mr Tung said that learning should be comprehensive and young people should participate in extra-curricular activities more often and strive to achieve all-round development. 'I earnestly hope that schools will have more scope for moral and civic education courses enabling the students to develop sound beliefs, determination and integrity, leadership skills, a sense of social responsibility and positive attitudes towards life,' he said.