Hong Kong pupil finds shadowing top official ‘quite fun’ but would have liked more time to talk
Form Four pupil Purl Cheung got her wish to spend a day with health secretary Sophia Chan
A “nice meal” and some “good chats”, but too little time to talk to the minister.
That was how a secondary school student described her day shadowing a top government official on Wednesday.
Form Four pupil Purl Cheung, 16, is one of 34 secondary students picked from 1,100 applicants to join a scheme called “Be a government official for a day”, in which they get a chance this summer to shadow a minister.
Cheung, whose interests include taekwondo and nutrition, got her wish to shadow Secretary for Food and Health Sophia Chan Siu-chee.
“It was quite fun. But there was only a little chance to chat with the minister, though I understand they are all busy,” the Jockey Club Ti-I College pupil said afterwards.
Cheung said she got more time to talk to Chan’s subordinates, who briefed her on the government’s structure and daily operations.
“I learned a lot, as in the past I could only go online and read about it,” she said.
Her day began with attending a blood donation drive with Chan, followed by a tour of the Food and Health Bureau with another student.
They then sat down with Chan’s assistant in a cafe, as the minister had to attend a meeting which she was not allowed to join.
Lunch with Chan at a “high-class” Japanese restaurant in Admiralty impressed the student. Cheung also got to see the minister participate in a shoot for a video on Chinese medicine policy.
She then followed Chan to a cocktail reception at the book fair in the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre, another impressive venue for Cheung, who said she rarely got a chance to go there.
Her day ended with a brief chat with Chan, who discussed breast feeding in the city with her.
Another two pupils, meanwhile, shadowed Chief Secretary Matthew Cheung Kin-chung, the city’s No 2 official, and joined him for a sharing session with youngsters at the book fair.
Cheung introduced the pair to the media, saying that one of them wanted to be a doctor. He said another two would shadow him next week.
At the book fair session, Cheung told youngsters about his daily practice of waking up at 5.30am, reading 14 newspapers and doing exercises.
“I like kicking a football against a wall. Then I play as a goalkeeper [and catch it]. The workout volume is intense,” he said.