(Hong Kong, 21 December 2022) In recent years, the HKSAR Government has been proactively strengthening innovation and technology (I&T) development. With the National 14th Five-Year Plan supporting Hong Kong to become an international I&T hub, the I&T industry will set the future trend with talent being one of the most critical elements. In this year's Policy Address, the Chief Executive stated that in addition to attracting overseas talents, it is equally important to nurture local technology talents. Hence, the government will boost STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics) education in order to lay a good foundation for students and support the future I&T development of Hong Kong.
The Hong Kong Productivity Council (HKPC) has been sparing no efforts in promoting technology education (TechEd) and talent development. It recently released the results of the “Online Survey – Nurturing Our Own Home-Grown STEM Talent 2022” with the Hong Kong Federation of Education Workers TechEd Centre (HKFEW TechEd Centre) and the College of Professional and Continuing Education Limited of The Hong Kong Polytechnic University (PolyU CPCE). Most parents surveyed agree that TechEd should start in primary school and be formalised in the school curriculum while educators seek for more assistance in STEM education resources and support such as extra manpower support for teaching and administrative duties, provision of more STEM equipment, enrichment of new technology knowledge.
Over 1,000 parents and educators responded to the Survey which was conducted in September to gauge their views on the current situation and challenges in the implementation of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) education, explore the resources and policy support for training future talents, and analyse the effectiveness and development potential of implementing TechEd. The findings are as follows:
Parents’ opinions on the current situation of their children learning STEM:
Current situation of educators’ implementation of TechEd:
The survey shows that parents and educators share the same views on emerging technologies and future skills, with AI / machine learning, data analytics and cyber security being the top three. This infers that parents and teachers are positive and forward-looking about new technologies and the future, and expect students to learn and apply advanced technologies to equip for the future.
Based on the opinions of parents and STEM educators, teaching resources are not sufficient, whether it is human resources, capital, smart devices, software and hardware. STEM educators think that there should be more manpower support in teaching STEM and administration duties (66%) and more “Smart Campus” facilities and equipment for teaching STEM (59%), whereas parents believe that for schools to promote STEM education, they should set up more smart facilities and equipment (58%), and provide a variety of STEM workshops (57%).
HKPC also held a consultation meeting on TechEd development in November, and invited representatives from the government, education sector, TechEd institutions and technology circles to exchange views. At the meeting, representatives from the education sector pointed out that there is a dilemma in the promotion of TechEd in Hong Kong. First of all, since currently there is no standard framework for teaching TechEd, and the level of difficulty is hard to define, tests and public exams cannot be used to evaluate the students. Also, there is a gap in parents’ expectation on STEM or TechEd studies. Since they are not included in the school curriculum, although the parents understand their importance, they still treat them as an extracurricular activity.
Ms Karen FUNG, General Manager, InnoPreneur (SME & Startup Growth) and FutureSkills of HKPC, said, “The survey shows that both parents and teachers understand that students need to learn STEM from an early age, but there are difficulties in its implementation, including the lack of time and experience of teachers in STEM teaching, the limitations of schools to fully integrate with sufficient resources, and parents’ over-reliance on schools to provide STEM learning experience etc. Integrating all the opinions, HKPC will partner with PolyU CPCE to provide a variety of teacher and instructor training, so as to enhance teacher qualifications and enlarge the teachers pool, and with HKFEW TechEd Centre to promote the concept of ‘Smart Campus’. Next year, we will co-organise parent-child workshops, STEAM camps, visits to technology companies, and parent seminars with the Committee on Home-School Cooperation to deepen students’ and parents’ understanding of the latest developments in technologies and related manpower needs. HKPC will continue to connect the I&T and education sectors in order to promote TechEd on all fronts, with a vision to build a TechEd ecosystem.”
As a platform for TechEd, Inno Space under HKPC is committed to promoting the concept of I&T career planning, covering the 6 TechEd thematic topics: Aerospace Technology, Cybersecurity, Green & Bio Technology, Robotics Engineering, Smart City and Virtual World Technology, so that students, teachers and parents have more opportunities to keep abreast with the future development and manpower needs of I&T. The new “TechEd Playground” showcases over 20 hottest and latest TechEd solutions, applications and student works under the 6 TechEd thematic topics for them to explore and experience first-hand, along with various activities to grasp the latest technology trends. Educators, teachers, students and parent groups are welcome to click here to make an appointment.
Please click here to view the key findings of “Online Survey – Nurturing Our Own Home-Grown STEM Talent 2022” (Chinese only). For more information about STEAM activities of Inno Space, please visit: https://innospace.hkpc.org/
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