Provisional Legislative Council
Panel on Home Affairs
The Government has all along recognised the young people as valuable assets of society and has engaged every effort in the promotion of matters pertaining to youth development.
Existing mechanism for developing and monitoring youth programmes
2.The Commission on Youth (the Commission) was set up in 1990 to advise the Government on all matters pertaining to youth. The Commission drew up the Charter for Youth (the Charter) in 1993. The Charter enunciates the principles and ideals on youth development. It reaffirms the values of these principles and provides a point of reference for policy makers, youth service providers and others involved in promoting the welfare of youth.
3.The Charter operates on a system of subscription with organisations and individuals interested in promoting the development of youth becoming subscribers on a voluntary basis. Subscribers to the Charter promise to uphold the ideals in the Charter as well as to plan and conduct activities where appropriate in accordance with the spirit of the Charter. Periodic reviews are held to provide an opportunity for subscribers to share their experience in fulfilling the provisions contained in the Charter. To date, about 400 organisations and 2,000 individuals have become subscribers to the Charter.
4.Being the first subscriber to the Charter, the Government has consistently embodied the principles and ideals of the Charter in its policy formulation. In addition, we have always sought the advice of the Commission on Youth on issues relating to youth. For example, discussions have been held with the Commission on issues concerning youth at risk, the draft Guidelines on Sex Education in Schools and so on. On the other hand, the Commission has also carried out studies and put forward specific recommendations to the Government and other youth related bodies in areas such as supportive systems for secondary students and working youths, AIDS and so on. Acting as a focal liaison point, the Commission has been liaising with the various non-governmental organisations (NGOs) in consolidating its advice.
Plans to promote the youth's better understanding and sense of belonging to Hong Kong and China
5.The Education Department has issued the Guidelines on Civic Education in Schools advising schools in 1996 to help students to foster a sense of belonging to and familiarise themselves with Hong Kong and China through comprehension, reflection and action. Based on the principles in the Guidelines, the Curriculum Development Council is now preparing a civic education syllabus for Secondary 1-3, which would facilitate students' understanding of local social affairs, civil rights and obligations, government operations, the Basic Law as well as national affairs such as history, culture, population, geography, economic structure and political system. The syllabus is expected to be ready for implementation in the 1998-99 school year. Schools offering civic education in their curriculum are provided with a recurrent grant. Putonghua, the national language, will be included in the school curriculum starting from Primary 1, Secondary 1 and Secondary 4 in the 1998-99 school year with specific teaching points on Chinese culture.
6.Apart from curriculum development, the Education Department also organises and encourages schools to organise activities for students to enrich their civic awareness and to increase their sense of national identity. In the 1996-97 school year, the Education Department organised an inter-school competition aiming at the promotion of the understanding of the Basic Law.
7.With the setting up of the Quality Education Fund, schools will have more opportunities to organise activities for stimulating students' civic and national awareness.
8.Outside schools, a range of promotional activities and publicity materials will be organised by the Committee on the Promotion of Civic Education (CPCE) to advocate the theme of " I am Chinese, Hong Kong is My Home " in the coming financial year. The aim is to encourage the general public, including the young people, to know more about the history and culture of our country, to understand the economic and social relationship between HKSAR and the mainland, as well as to care for the mainland. A list of the proposed projects is at the Annex.
9.CPCE has also been sponsoring a number of NGOs to organise activities which aim at promoting the understanding of Hong Kong and the mainland. The Government plans to appeal to the NGOs to include promotion of national awareness and sense of belonging to Hong Kong and China as part of the programmes for delivering their services to the young people, through various services co-ordinating committees.
10.As tasked in the Policy Address by the Chief Executive, the Commission on Youth is carrying out a study on moral values and civic awareness of the young people in Hong Kong, with the hope of putting forward recommendations on how they could take up a more active role in building up the HKSAR.
Exchange activities between the youth of the SAR and the mainland
11.In the past few years, the Education Department and schools have organised various student exchange activities with mainland education institutions, such as visits to Beijing for Community Youth Club members, school interport sports competitions and nation-wide computer software competitions for the youth.
12.As we understand, many NGOs have regularly organised youth exchange activities between HKSAR and the mainland. These include social service projects, summer camps, youth development activities, and visits to youth organisations, schools, tertiary institutes in the mainland. We encourage NGOs to continue their efforts in organising such activities. In fact this year, the Commission on Youth will sponsor members of the community to organise study tours for young people to visit the mainland. It is expected that through active participation, our young people will have a better understanding of their country.
Proposed CPCE Projects in 1998
- TV API on " I am Chinese, Hong Kong is my Home " ;
- TV programmes to introduce people who have made contributions to the community and the mainland in the fields of scientific research culture and medical development ;
- CD ROM to education children and youth on some basic knowledge about the country ;
- CD ROM on the Basic Law for children and youth ;
- Story Book, Question and Answer booklet, video and users' manual for youth on " One Country, Two Systems' ; and
- Civic Education Package " Toward a Good Citizenship " Phase II - a joint production with the ICAC which aims at promoting youngsters' sense of belonging to Hong Kong and the mainland.