For discussion FCR(97-98)73
on 5 December 1997
ITEM FOR FINANCE COMMITTEE
HEAD 40 - EDUCATION DEPARTMENT
Subhead 834 Equipment for computer studies
New Item "Enhancement of use of information technology in school education"
HEAD 47 - INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY SERVICES DEPARTMENT
Subhead 001 Salaries
Subhead 111 Hire of services and professional fees
Members are invited to approve -
- a non-recurrent commitment of $2,583,210,000 to enhance information technology (IT) facilities in public sector schools to promote more extensive use of IT in teaching and learning;
- a recurrent grant ranging from $55,000 to $76,000 per annum per school for the purchase of IT-related consumables; and
- the delegation of authority to the Secretary for the Treasury to approve future annual revisions of the rates of the recurrent grant in accordance with the movement of the Consumer Price Index (B).
Public sector schools need to have more facilities and the related support to be able to apply information technology (IT) across the curriculum.
2. With the support of the Secretary for Education and Manpower, the Director of Education (D of E) proposes to -
- implement a package of measures to promote the use of IT in teaching and learning across the curriculum in all public sector schools at a total non-recurrent cost of $2,583,210,000;
- provide a recurrent grant ranging from $55,000 to $76,000 per annum per school for the purchase of consumables such as computer-assisted learning packages and Internet services and the payment of other related charges; and
- delegate authority for the Secretary for the Treasury to approve annual revision of the rates of the recurrent grant in accordance with the movement of the Consumer Price Index (B).
3. In view of the increasing application of IT in all aspects of
modern-day life, schools should equip students with the appropriate IT skills for further studies and the workplace. IT also has great potential for enhancing effectiveness in teaching and learning by enriching the content and making the process more interactive and thus interesting.
Promoting the use of IT in teaching and learning across the curriculum
4. Starting from later this school year, primary schools will have 15 multi-media computers to support computer awareness and computer-assisted learning (in Chinese, English, Mathematics and General Studies subjects) programmes. We propose to provide them with another 25 computers on average to enable teachers to use computers in teaching more subjects. These computers will be installed in a computer-assisted learning room (converted from a vacant classroom), classrooms, special rooms, staff rooms, and library.
5. At present, about 98% of public sector secondary schools are provided with 21 computers and one Liquid Crystal Display (LCD) projection system for conducting practical lessons of the computer subjects at S4 and S5 level. More than one-tenth of these schools also provide computer subjects at S6 and S7 level and are provided with another 16 to 31 computers plus another LCD projection system. Many of these computers and projection systems are of older models. There are also no IT equipment for the purpose of teaching and learning of non-computer subjects. We therefore propose to provide secondary schools with 82 computers on average to allow IT-assisted teaching and learning of a wide range of subjects, and to upgrade and enhance the IT provision for the teaching of computer subjects. These computers will be installed in classrooms, computer rooms, other special rooms, staff rooms and library.
6. For secondary schools which can designate a room for computer-assisted learning of non-computer subjects, we will provide them with another 21 computers and assorted peripheries.
7. To facilitate the formulation of the direction for future development of IT applications in school education, we will launch pilot schemes in ten secondary and ten primary schools to establish best practices for using IT in education. Participating schools will be provided with up to 155 computers and assorted peripheries to pilot on more extensive computer-assisted teaching and learning. We will consider inviting applications for participation in the pilot schemes.
Providing training and support for teachers
8. Training and support for teachers is one of the key elements of our present package of proposals. For teachers and students to benefit from computer-assisted teaching, teachers must master certain IT skills. At primary level, the delivery of the 15 computers starting later this school year will be followed by training for 15 200 teachers at three different levels (i.e. basic, intermediate and advanced). As we provide more IT facilities for schools, we will expand the number of basic training places for teachers (about 3 400). Additionally, we will provide further training for about 8 000 teachers who have completed the basic or intermediate levels of training to upgrade their skills. At secondary level, we plan to provide training for about 16 000 teachers, again at three different levels. The same training programme will similarly be made available to about 2 800 special school teachers. Whilst the basic level of training could be provided by the computer vendors, more advanced training will be provided by tertiary institutions and other organisations.
9. We will also establish an Information Technology Education Resources Centre (InTER Centre) to provide professional support to teachers in adopting IT as a teaching tool and to schools in managing their own IT systems. The InTER Centre will also have a library to provide relevant educational materials for teachers?reference. It will also be responsible for the development of educational software. As regards technical support, apart from requesting computer vendors to provide Help Desk and maintenance services to schools, we will set up eight teams of technical experts (four for primary schools and four for secondary schools) to help schools and teachers resolve technical difficulties in using IT in teaching and learning.
10. To enable teachers and students to tap into best practices of teaching and learning, as well as educational materials worldwide, and to facilitate communication and sharing of information among teachers, between teachers and students, and between schools and parents, we are considering the establishment of an education-specific Intranet. As a first step, we will commission a consultancy study on the feasibility of its establishment in the Hong Kong context1 .
11. In the course of implementing our proposals, the Education Department (ED) and Information Technology Services Department (ITSD) will need to provide professional and technical advice on various aspects to schools. ED will also set up development teams to develop educational software in collaboration with other parties, including tertiary institutions and other relevant organisations.
12. We propose to provide a recurrent grant ranging from $55,000 to $76,000 per annum per school, depending on the size of the school, for schools to purchase consumables, peripherals and Internet services, and to settle other related charges. Schools can use the grant flexibility for the purposes of supporting IT applications in teaching and learning. To maintain the real value of the grant, we also propose that the Secretary for the Treasury be delegated the authority to approve annual revision of the rates of the recurrent grant in accordance with the movement of the Consumer Price Index (B).
13. The D of E estimates that the proposal will incur a total non-recurrent cost of $2,583.21 million, made up as follows -
(a) Site preparation ||360,420|| 355,830|| 0|| 0|| 716,250
|(b) Computer equipment|| 808,820|| 799,710||0||0||1,608,530
|(e) Staff cost||26,150||26,150 ||0||0|| 52,300
14. As regards paragraph 13(a), the expenditure is for site preparation works at 505 primary schools, 405 secondary schools, 67 special schools, and the InTER Centre, including installation of power sockets, trunking and security fixtures, as well as provision of necessary furniture and equipment such as computer desks, air-conditioners, etc. The computer room(s), computer-assisted learning room and the library in a school will be linked up where applicable.
15. As regards paragraph 13(b), the expenditure is for the provision of -
?on average 82 sets of computer and peripherals for each of the 395 public sector secondary schools, including replacement of outdated LCD projection systems and 286/386/486 microcomputers in each of the 405 secondary and 67 special schools ($982.51 million);
?on average 25 sets of computer and peripherals in each of the 495 public sector primary school sites ($399.22 million);
?on average 30 sets of computer and peripherals in each of the 67 special schools ($50.86 million);
?up to 64 additional sets of computer and peripherals in each of the ten pilot primary school sites ($21.09 million);
?up to 134 additional sets of computer and peripherals in each of the ten pilot secondary schools ($39.29 million);
?an additional 21 sets of computer and audio-visual peripherals for 103 public sector secondary schools ($87.55 million) which already have a multi-media room to promote more extensive IT applications in teaching and learning across the curriculum;
?40 sets of computer and peripherals to upgrade the existing rooms in each of the 27 prevocational schools ($23.76 million); and
?upgrading the existing Computer Education Resources Centre into the InTER Centre ($4.25 million).
16. As regards paragraph 13(c), the expenditure is for engaging consultants to conduct a feasibility study on an education-specific Intranet.
17. As regards paragraph 13(d), the expenditure is for training about
30 000 teachers to equip them with the necessary IT knowledge and skills. Supply teachers will be provided where necessary. About 17 000 teachers will attend a three-day basic training, and about 12 000 teachers will attend a five-day intermediate IT training. The estimated cost is $140.96 million. In addition, one teacher in every school (1 200 in total) will attend a two-year advanced training on IT applications. The first batch of teachers will commence their two-year IT training in September 1998. Their course fees will be reimbursed upon course completion. The estimated cost of the advanced training course is $64.17 million.
18. As regards paragraph 13(e), the expenditure is for the provision of six posts in ED and 11 posts in ITSD and contract services for two years for providing professional input, and developing and managing the initial project work. The staff are required for the planning and support of infrastructure, procurement, system integration, site preparation, rollout, technology development, programme management and advanced training for teachers. Details of these staffing requirements are in Enclosure 1.
19. The D of E estimates that the annually recurrent cost of the proposal from 1998-99 will be as follows -
|For each subsequent year|
|(a) Subvention - teaching staff in aided schools||3,602||6,174||6,174||6,174
|(b) Recurrent grant||30,230||62,210||62,210||60,870
|(c) Maintenance||0||28,089 ||55,955||54,674
|(d) Software development||3,000||6,000||6,000||6,000
|(e) Refresher training||0||21,190||47,371||44,835
|(f) InTER Centre miscellaneous cost|| 120||120||120||120
|(g) Staff cost||44,142|| 51,321||60,132||60,132
20. As regards paragraph 19(a) above, the expenditure is for the provision of one teacher in each of the eight aided primary schools and eight aided secondary schools participating in the pilot scheme.
21. As regards paragraph 19(b) above, the expenditure is for the recurrent grant to each school for the purchase of consumables, such as laser printer toner, computer-assisted learning packages, CD-ROM titles, and the Internet services.
22. As regards paragraph 19(c) above, the expenditure is for the maintenance of IT facilities by computer vendors.
23. As regards paragraph 19(d) above, the expenditure is for the production of curriculum-based software packages to meet schools?curriculum needs.
24. As regards paragraph 19(e) above, the expenditure is for in-service teacher training on more effective use of computers in teaching and learning.
25. As regards paragraph 19(f) above, the expenditure is for the purchase of consumables and rental services for the InTER Centre.
26. As regards paragraph 19(g) above, the expenditure is for the provision of 4.3 posts in ITSD and 56 posts in ED and contract services to support our proposals, and to provide professional and technical advice to schools. It also includes provision for one teacher in each of the four Government pilot schools. Details of the staffing requirements are in Enclosure 2. Creation of the relevant posts will be made through the normal channels.
27. Subject to Members?approval, we will include the necessary provision in the 1998-99 draft Estimates.
28. Members approved on 18 April 1997 a non-recurrent commitment of $252.55 million for the provision of 15 multimedia computers to all Government and aided primary schools.
29. Members also approved on 25 April 1997 a non-recurrent commitment of $45.851 million for the establishment of Information Technology Learning Centres in all prevocational and secondary technical schools.
Education and Manpower Bureau
1 In parallel, we are piloting on networking among 30 schools.
Enclosure 1 to FCR(97-98)73
Details of Non-recurrent Staff Requirement
|Number of Posts
|Information Technology Services Department||Education Department||Information Technology Services Department||Education Department
|Chief Systems Manager||1||-||1||-
|Senior Systems Manager||2||-||2||-
|Analyst Programmer I||3||-||3||-
|Senior Computer Operator||1||-||1||-
Enclosure 2 to FCR(97-98)73
Details of Recurrent Staff Requirement
|Posts required from 1998-99 onwards
|Principal Inspector ||2
|Assistant Inspector (Graduate)||4
|Assistant Education Officer||2
|Primary School Master/Mistress||8
|Assistant Primary School Master/Mistress||18
|Assistant Clerical Officer||1
-- including one teacher provided to each of the two Government secondary schools and the two Government primary schools participating in pilot schemes
Information Technology Services Department
|Number of posts required
|Chief Systems Manager||-||- ||0.3||0.3
|Senior Systems Manager||-||- ||1||1
|Systems Manager||-|| - ||2||2
|Analyst Programmer I||-||- ||1||1
Last Updated on 5 December 1997