The Government has been providing 9-year free and universal basic education (6 years of primary education and 3 years of junior secondary education) through public sector primary and secondary schools (including government schools, aided schools and caput schools) since 1978. To demonstrate the Government's commitment to the nurturing and education of our next generation, free education is extended to include senior secondary education provided by public sector secondary schools starting from the 2008/09 school year. The beneficiaries include students pursuing Secondary 4 to Secondary 7 under the current secondary school structure (meaning 13 years of free education) and students pursuing Senior Secondary 1 to Senior Secondary 3 under the New Senior Secondary structure to be introduced from the 2009/10 school year (meaning 12 years of free education). These are parts of the education policy objectives.
Concomitant with the introduction of free senior secondary education, with effect from the 2008/09 school year, we also provide full subvention for full-time courses offered by the Vocational Training Council (VTC) for Secondary 3 school leavers. Through providing full subvention for these VTC courses, an alternative free avenue is provided for senior secondary students to further their studies other than in mainstream education. On the medium of instruction, the Government endeavours to promote mother-tongue teaching, enabling students to learn effectively and to become bi-literate and trilingual.
On the goal of the secondary education, the Government provides a balanced and diverse school education that meets the different needs of students, helping them build up knowledge, values and skills for further studies and personal growth.
For post-secondary education, the Government targets to provide 14,500 first-year first-degree places for about 18% of youths aged 17 to 20 and support progressive increases in post-secondary education.
The areas of learning and experience in the secondary curriculum cover intellectual, communicative, social and moral, personal and physical, aesthetics aspects. The major elements of learning, which include knowledge, skills and attitudes, should also be included in the curriculum planning.
By means of quality assurance inspection and school self-evaluation, and through school improvement and accountability, we aim to achieve quality school education.
The “334” new academic structure is a major reform with far-reaching impact. After completing three years of junior and three years of senior secondary education, students have to take a public examination. Students who have attained the required standards may undertake a 4-year undergraduate programme or other programmes run by post-secondary institutions. Let us know more about the background and the latest news about the new academic structure together!