LegCo Panel on Home Affairs
Subcommittee on Long-term Cultural Policy
31 October 1998

Promoting art education

Policy and programmes

School Sector

The objective of promoting arts in primary and secondary schools, as stated in the "School Education in Hong Kong: A Statement of Aims", is to help our students develop their creativity and aesthetic awareness, and stimulate their appreciation of the achievements of the local culture and other cultures. This objective is achieved through both the formal and informal curriculum, covering performing arts, visual arts as well as literary arts.

2. As regards formal curriculum, arts elements are included in a number of subjects, in particular, Chinese and English Language/Literature, Art and Craft, Art and Design, Music and Physical Education. Both the syllabus and the time allocation for these subjects are recommended by the Curriculum Development Council (CDC). Where appropriate, teaching materials are provided to schools. Moreover, schools are also encouraged to design their own subject curricula, for which the Curriculum Development Institute of Education Department (ED) would provide assistance.

3. Informal curriculum includes extra-curricular activities organised by individual schools and some inter-school events. Examples of the former include school choirs, dance classes, drama societies, painting clubs, and creative writing clubs, etc and the latter include the Schools Music and Speech Festivals, the Schools Dance Festival, the Schools Drama Festival, and the Youth Friends of HK Arts Festival Scheme, etc. To support these development, ED disseminates good practices on the promotion of arts education.

4. In the promotion of arts education, ED also organises or co-organises with sponsored bodies relevant activities such as art exhibitions and competitions and overseas art exchange programmes. Since March 1996, ED representatives have served on the Arts Education Committee of the Hong Kong Arts Development Council (HKADC). To study the feasibility of implementing the concept of "One Art for Life", a three-year pilot project on "Artists-in-Schools Programme" targeted at senior secondary students is being run by ED and HKADC. Both CDC and ED will continue to review the current trends of teaching as well as the needs of students and society, and introduce new measures accordingly. Initiatives in the pipeline include a full review and revision of the current Music syllabus, inclusion of more Chinese culture and the application of IT in the arts curriculum.

5. With the establishment of the $5 billion Quality Education Fund (QEF), all schools, educational bodies, teaching professionals, non-profit making organisations, public bodies and individuals are welcome to apply funding for worthwhile non-profit making initiatives within the ambit of basic education. Following vetting of some 2350 applications received during the first call for applications, the Trustee of the QEF has approved 159 projects for the promotion of various cultures in schools, including 91 projects for the establishment of school orchestras and bands; and 68 projects for the promotion of drama, dancing, singing, martial art and lion dance, etc.

Tertiary Sector

6. Each of the eight University Grant Committee-funded institutions have their own policies in promoting arts and culture which contributes to whole-person education. Such policies are implemented in one or more of the following forms:

  • academic programmes and research

  • extra-curricular activities such as cultural or arts festivals

  • museums and purpose-built cultural venues

  • administrative and advisory bodies

  • international exchange activities

7. Some of the institutions have established committees with external cultural and arts bodies.

8. Apart from programmes or activities of individual institutions, the eight UGC-funded institutions established the Joint Committee on Culture Development in Tertiary Institutions (JCCD) in May 1997. The objectives of JCCD are to :

  • advocate arts and cultural development in tertiary institutions in Hong Kong;

  • enhance cultural exchanges among tertiary institutions; and

  • plan, co-ordinate and organises cross-institutional cultural programmes.

    9. Institutions have been very active in organising international exchange programmes, through their relevant schools/faculties /departments or support units, to broaden the views of students and to expose them to the culture of other nations. These international exchange activities include summer schools, exhibitions, annual visiting scholars programmes, inviting renowned international scholars to give talks at seminars, organising international conferences, on various arts and cultural subjects.

    Training of art teachers

    10. ED runs in-service training programmes to help teachers keep abreast of the latest trends of art education and teaching methodology. There are three types of such programmes, namely, programmes for panel chairpersons on administration and development of arts education in schools, programmes for new teachers for professional orientation and support, and programmes for all teachers on topical issues related to arts curriculum and methodology. Inspectors and guest speakers are invited to conduct these training programmes. In 1997/98, ED organised 61 such training programmes with the participation of 10416 teachers.

    11. ED also provides full or partial refund for in-service teachers to study extra-mural courses organised by the universities and other institutions, including those in relation to the study and the teaching of arts. For example, the Hong Kong Arts Centre has presented a series of workshops on "Music and Theatre" for teachers since 1996. Full-time school teachers participating in the workshops can apply for 100% course fee refund from the ED upon completion of the workshops.

    12. As schools face difficulties to recruit teachers who have received specialised training in art and crafts, the Chief Executive has announced in the Policy Address in 1998 that on-the-job subject training will be provided to 600 non-specialised teachers annually over the next 7 years to ensure all-round education for students.

    Education and Manpower Bureau
    October 1998