Frederick Ma Si-hang (center), chairman of the Education University of Hong Kong’s management council, Stephen Cheung Yan-leung (second right), the university’s president, and other leaders of the EdUHK pose for a photo on Tuesday. (Li Bingcun / China Daily)
The Education University of Hong Kong — the city’s only university dedicated to cultivating teachers — has identified life education for children and teenagers as a prioritized area of work.
The university’s president Stephen Cheung Yan-leung said on Tuesday the institution will try to localize related courses of Taiwan and other regions or pioneering countries in this area. The university will also conduct educational programs in primary and middle schools in Hong Kong to help students form a positive attitude toward life.
The EdUHK plans to invite government officials, lawmakers and prominent educators to discuss how to better conduct life education in primary and middle schools
Stephen Cheung Yan-leung
president of the Education University of Hong Kong
Cheung said the EdUHK plans to invite government officials, lawmakers and prominent educators to discuss how to better conduct life education in primary and middle schools.
Besides, the university will strengthen training on life education for students who aim to be teachers.
The EdUHK has already added a three-credit course — Positive and Values Education — to strengthen students’ ability to overcome adversity. This could also help some prospective teachers spread positive energy among children and teenagers in their future work, the university said.
According to a survey conducted by the Center for Suicide Research and Prevention at the University of Hong Kong, the estimated suicide rate among teenagers aged 15 to 24 rose from 8.3 per 100,000 people in 2012 to 9.5 in 2016.
Speaking at a Spring Festival gathering at EdUHK, Cheung said the university will continue to support education on science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) in line with the Hong Kong government’s emphasis on innovation-driven development.
The university will keep backing local educational institutions in conducting STEM education on the training of teachers, course settings, teaching materials and methods, Cheung said.
He hopes to expand an educational program, which aims to inspire children’s digital creativity, to all primary schools in future.
Launched in 2016, the four-year program is expected to cover 100 teachers in 32 schools and 16,500 upper primary students in Hong Kong on computational thinking.
To provide enough support for these educational endeavors, the university will earmark an additional HK$150 million in the next three years to enhance its teaching and research ability, said Cheung.
He explained that part of the money will be invested in the global search for chair professors and professors, and in the research of knowledge transfers.
Chief Executive Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor pledged to support STEM education in her second Policy Address in October last year.
The Education Bureau has begun organizing training programs on STEM education for leadership and mid-level administrators at schools. The STEM Education Centre at Kowloon Tong, which is designated to promote STEM education, began operation last year and has developed various activities involving teachers and students.
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