Summer work plan faces axe

STUDENTS may lose the opportunity of joining the annual Summer Work Experience Programme organised by the Hong Kong Association of Careers and Guidance Masters because it is considering scrapping the programme next year.

''It's getting harder to find organisations willing to join the programme because the tertiary internship schemes are taking up a lot of available slots. Besides, students can easily find well-paid summer jobs nowadays.

''The decreasing number of participating students has raised the operation costs of the programme,'' said Mr Joe Chan Joe-chak, chairman of the Careers and Guidance Masters Association.

The programme, started in 1974, allows fifth-formers to have a taste of work in the non-industrial field, this includes voluntary organisations, hospitals and commercial firms.

Each secondary school can nominate between three and five students to join the three-to eight-week programme.

After an interview and screening by teachers and their future ''employers'', about 150 students are chosen each year.

The scheme starts in early June and ends before the release of the HKCEE results around the middle of August. The participants, who will receive a travel allowance, are required to hand in a report after the end of the programme.

Mr Chan said about 80 per cent of students completed the programme each year and were presented with a certificate each in recognition of their work.

The medical faculty of the University of Hong Kong started a similar scheme last summer.

The Summer Attachment Scheme is tailored for matriculated students who are interested in the medical field. It is aimed at promoting a further understanding of the career.

The faculty invited secondary schools, which had the highest number of students admitted to the faculty last year, to nominate no more than three students to take part.

This year, 29 students from 12 schools were sent to 16 departments in the faculty to be observers and undertake routine work.

They visited wards, operation theatres, laboratories and saw the job of a real doctor in the one-month programme.

Students receive $1,200 in allowance to cover their daily subsistence and travel expenses.

''Through the scheme, we hope the students would have a clearer picture of the working conditions and develop the right attitude towards the field before deciding to major in medical studies,'' said Ms Doris Au Pik-yee, executive officer of the Faculty of Medicine.

Ms Au said the faculty might shorten the duration of the scheme and allow every student-observer to rotate among the different departments next year.