The Hong Kong Institute of Education has pledged to strengthen the life education of its students through Confucian teachings following a donation from the Confucian Academy. The donation of HK$1 million will support a three-year programme led by the institute's Centre for Religious and Spirituality Education to boost students' knowledge of Chinese culture. Dr Ho Wing-hon, manager of the centre, said the programme would help instill Confucian values in students. 'Confucianism has a big role to play in local education,' he said. 'Instead of solely teaching knowledge, teachers have to be role models and inculcate positive life values in their students. Those Confucian values like respect towards teachers and compassion are an important part of life and mental education.' The programme will be aimed at the institute's Chinese and arts students. Participants will get the chance in June to visit Qufu in Shandong, the hometown of Confucius, to learn about the origins of Confucianism and its classics such as the Analects. Academic exchanges with Qufu Normal University will also be held where local students can learn about how Confucianism is taught in classrooms. Dr Ho said the students would make the rounds of local secondary schools in the second year of the programme to promote Chinese culture and values. 'Some think Confucianism is a national religion and others see it as a philosophical and cultural system. Our programme will cover both the cultural and religious elements.'