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Hong Kong students express affection for Sichuan (with photos)  
   

The Chief Secretary for Administration, Mr Henry Tang, officiated at the launching ceremony for the "Passing on the Torch: Affection for Sichuan" National Education Exchange Programme: Experiential Learning and Expression of Care today (May 31).

At the launching ceremony, Mr Tang said the programme would enable students to visit quake-stricken area to better understand the reconstruction work and the underlying aims of reconstruction - "people-oriented" and "people's livelihood as first priority". They would also deepen their understanding of the great determination and perseverance of quake victims as well as extending their deepest sympathy and concern to them on behalf of the people of Hong Kong.

He also hoped students through the exchange programme would enhance their knowledge and understanding of their nation's history, geography, language, culture and local customs as well as the real meaning of "rise from calamity, self-reliance in adversity".

Other officiating guests at today's launching ceremony, held at Queen Elizabeth Stadium, included the Under Secretary for Education, Mr Kenneth Chen, Member of the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress, Mrs Rita Fan, and Deputy Director General, Youth Department of the Liaison Office of the Central People's Government in the Hong Kong SAR, Mr Li Jiyi. Prior to the launching ceremony, the Chairman of Hong Kong Policy Research Institute, Mr Paul Yip, gave a talk on the national education learning experience from the Sichuan tour.

The "Passing on the Torch: Affection for Sichuan" National Education Exchange Programme is an initiative to further promote national education as pledged in the Policy Address in 2009. The programme aims to enable students to have a deeper understanding of the destructive force of the earthquake and the disaster relief, reconstruction and restoration carried out by the Central People's Government; to deepen their understanding of Chinese culture and history; as well as to enhance their national identity and national pride. Through school visits and participating in volunteer services in Sichuan, students will also be able to reflect on their life experience and establish positive values and attitudes to life.

Teachers and students participating in the tours will have a chance to visit the relics of the earthquake, medical and rehabilitation facilities in Chengdu as well as areas under reconstruction such as the Dongqi Town. They will also visit cultural and historical sites such as the Jinsha Museum to gain a better understanding of Chinese culture. In addition, they will take part in exchange activities and volunteer services at Mianyang schools to express care and concern for the people affected by the earthquake.

Upon their return to Hong Kong, the teachers and students will present experiential learning diaries to summarise and share their experience in the tours with other students and teachers so as to further promote national education in schools.

For more information on the "Passing on the Torch: Affection for Sichuan" National Education Exchange Programme: Experiential Learning and Expression of Care, please visit the Education Bureau's website at This link will open in a new windowsclt.edb.hkedcity.net/index.html.

Ends/Monday, May 31, 2010
Issued at HKT 21:08

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