Practical choice for students

Hiram To

Many anxious students every August face the dilemma of study options. More than 109,000 Form Five students enrolled in the Hong Kong Certificate of Education Exam (HKCEE) this year, but only about 25 per cent will achieve the required results to move on to study A-levels.

For those who have not performed well - attaining only five points or less - what are the choices? One option among further studies programmes and vocational training opportunities available is Project Yi Jin.

Project Yi Jin's graduate certificate is comparable to five passes at HKCEE. Form Five school leavers are eligible to apply, as are those who are 21 years old. The programme was established in 2000 and there were 3,000 students in that year. There are now about 8,000. After graduating students can enter various sub-degree programmes, such as certified diplomas, which can eventually lead to possible university entries locally and overseas. The government also recognises the qualification for those wishing to apply for positions in police, postal, fire services, immigration and several other civil service departments.

Yi Jin students are required to undertake seven core subjects including Chinese, English I and II, mathematics, Putonghua, IT applications and communications skills. For the other three elective subjects, students can choose from more than 100 subjects in fields as far-ranging as food and beverage services, personal financial planning, professional beauty therapy, and advertising and public relations. The preparatory course for the disciplined forces, recreational and sports training are proving popular. Other highly enrolled subjects are hotel management, western culinary art and bakery, travel and tourism practices, digital image and graphic design, and logistics and accounting.

'The course suits those who do not feel they have the confidence to re-sit the HKCEE,' said Judy Lau Man-yee, programme officer for the School of Continuing and Professional Education at City University of Hong Kong. 'For students who demonstrate difficulties in grasping the necessary knowledge at school and require a better foundation to move ahead, Yi Jin offers a practical alternative which could be more easily within their reach. Some students are simply less suited to the way they are taught at traditional schools.'

Ms Lau said students who had not done well at the end of Form Four and did not properly prepare for their HKCEE could also consider entering the Yi Jin/Secondary Schools Collaboration Project for studies. This shortcut could help them identify a clear path.

The course is also suitable for students who left school early, joined the workforce but then wanted to improve on their qualifications. Yi Jin caters for those who want to return to studies, offering a series of part-time courses. Students can apply for loans or receive reimbursements for their tuition fees from the government.

Yi Jin enrolment for full-time studies

Hong Kong International Trade and Exhibition Centre (HITEC)

1 Trademart Drive, Kowloon Bay

August 9-10

Yi Jin at Scope, City University of Hong Kong

Inquiries: 27353720, 27843287, 27887423