Twin objective for child project

CHILDREN's safety and health will soon come under focus in kindergarten and primary schools as part of an ambitious educational programme.

The Hong Kong Council of Early Childhood Education and Services (CECES) is producing two educational videotapes to boost children's awareness on the importance of both home safety and a healthy lifestyle.

Suggestions on preventive measures will be discussed in ''Safety First''. Safety of ''home alone'' children will also be an important subject of discussion.

Besides tips on a high-fibre and low cholesterol diet, Healthy Eating and Healthy Living will advise children on why it is important to do some physical exercise and develop a positive outlook and lifestyle.

Production and editing of the 10-minute videos will be finished by next month and they will be delivered to kindergarten and primary schools in April.

Council spokesman Jeff Leung Chi-keung said the videos marked the beginning of a three-year programme - thanks to a $30,000 sponsorship from the Royal Hong Kong Jockey Club.

He suggested schools play the videos during lessons or after school as part of extra-curricular activities.

''It can be done in a flexible way, giving students a chance to watch the videos and encouraging discussion,'' he said.

The programme will also include visits by education officers to schools.

The council has also invited an education expert from the United States to help set work sheets which would go along with the videos.

''Children's safety and health have always been our main concern. The subjects have been the theme of our Children's Month for the past two years.

''But we believe such issues should not be highlighted only during Children's Month. This has to be a long-term project,'' he said.

Mr Leung said every year many children and adults become victims of serious accidents and diseases.

''Many of these accidents and diseases can actually be avoided. We feel that if our message can save even one life, our efforts will have been worthwhile.'' He said follow-up work would later be planned to ensure that the programme was carried out on a long-term basis.

Meanwhile, the council has chosen ''Family Unity'' as the theme for its Children's Month this year to mark the International Year of the Family.

Exhibitions, games, seminars and other projects related to family life will be organised in May. Other details about the activities will be announced soon.