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January, 2022: Research Report on Empowering Youths to Address I.T. Development in GBA
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The STEAM Education and Research Centre of Lingnan University (“The STEAM Centre”) and Hong Kong STEM Education Alliance (“ The Alliance”) jointly announced the results of the Research Report on Empowering Youths to Address I.T. Development in GBA, on 22 January 2022. The report has been sent to the Secretary for Education and Curriculum Development Officers for their references.

In order to measure Hong Kong youth's awareness of technological innovation skills and their involvement in technological innovation activities, the research invited all member schools of the Alliance to participate in a questionnaire survey. 1,344 questionnaires were successfully returned, including 438 primary school students and 906 secondary school students. The sample includes 740 boys and 604 girls. The research team also conducted in-depth interviews with principals of primary and secondary schools, university professors, front-line teachers, and experts from the industry.

Research Report on Empowering Youths to Address I.T. Development in GBA

Dr. Ray Cheung Chak-Chung, Chairman of the Alliance, pointed out that the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area (“the GBA”) can provide valuable opportunities to Hong Kong's technological innovation and development, helping Hong Kong to leverage its advantages as an international I & T hub, to gather relevant resources from the GBA and across the world, and hence boosting Hong Kong's international competitiveness. In addition, the GBA offers massive space to the next generation of young people in Hong Kong to start their own businesses, enabling them to realise their dreams. Dr Clifford Choy Sze-tsan, Vice Chairman of the Alliance, added that the survey results showed that Hong Kong students are equipped with basic STEM skills, whereas there is still a lot of room for improvement. He found that the hands-on ability of Hong Kong students awaits be strengthened, when he was cooperating with the Hong Kong Federation of Education Workers in a training programme titled “STEM Education Project for the Youth”. The research report also makes recommendations on what skills students should be equipped with at different grades.

Dr. Chow Man-kong, Vice Chairman of The Alliance and a member of the Legislative Council, mentioned that the SAR government has invested more than HK$130 billion in the development of science and technology in the past four years, yet the effects remain to be seen. He pointed out that the resources invested by the government only account for no more than 1% of the local GDP. Compared with major mainland China cities such as Beijing (6.4%), Shanghai (4.2%), and other cities in the GBA (3.4%), Hong Kong’s investment is far behind. As for the subsequent serious problems of Hong Kong's STEM talents, Chow explained that the main reason is that parents fail to understand the general trend of future development of science and technology innovation. Therefore, the research report recommends that the professional bodies, science and technology institutions and schools should cooperate to implement the "Science and Technology Innovation Growth Plan for Students", to provide systematic support for students and parents. Such consideration should not only to meet the needs of the outstanding students, but also to promote science and technology education to the mass. Additionally, science and technology enterprises are encouraged to regularly share their experiences with teachers and students in primary and secondary schools, so that the latter can understand the future development prospects of the industry and the development advantages of the GBA. He will continue to work with Legislative Council members with educational backgrounds to promote the organic integration of "government-academic-industry-research" at different levels, so as to develop more STEM talents for Hong Kong.

Research Report on Empowering Youths to Address I.T. Development in GBA

Principal Wong Kam-leung, a Vice Chairman of the Alliance, said that the school has been promoting STEM education for 4-5 years, but he was surprised that nearly 40% of the students in the survey reported that they had never participated in STEM activities of the school. He indicates that the main reason is that there is currently no unified curriculum for STEM education, and there are insufficient class hours. Many schools can only carry out STEM education in "extracurricular activities". However, the attitude of parents has not changed much, and they believe that "STEM activities are optional". Therefore, Wong mentioned that the report puts forward a number of policy recommendations, including: rearranging the curriculum of STEM education; reallocating class hours to integrate STEM education into the curriculum; adding non-teaching positions of STEM promoter at school to support students, parents as well as to assist in the design, implementation and improvement of school-wide STEM education.

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Research Report on Empowering Youths to Address I.T. Development in GBA

Research Report: https://ln.edu.hk/serc/download/research2021.pdf