The Under Secretary for Education, Mr Kenneth Chen, today (September 1) attended the school year-opening ceremony of Jinshan Town No. 1 Primary School in Deyangshi, Sichuan. The school was one of the 69 school reconstruction projects supported by the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) in the wake of the Sichuan earthquake.
At the school year-opening ceremony, Mr Chen said he was glad to see students attending classes in high spirits at the new school premises. He said that the well-equipped school and improved learning environment will help enhance students' learning effectiveness. He also thanked the local municipal government, the school management and the reconstruction team for their unfailing efforts in ensuring quality in the completion of the reconstruction works.
Mr Chen was accompanied at the school year-opening ceremony by the Director, Hong Kong Economic and Trade Affairs, Chengdu, Mr Eddie Poon.
The reconstruction work, which started in March last year, was completed within 18 months. The new campus, with a composite teaching block, students' quarters, a canteen and a sports ground, commenced use today. The HKSAR provided RMB27 million for the project.
During his visit to Sichuan from August 31 to September 1 to understand the progress of school reconstruction projects supported by the HKSAR, Mr Chen also visited Chongzhou Zhengdong Jie Kindergarten and Qinglong Town Junior Secondary School.
Chongzhou Zhengdong Jie Kindergarten was severely damaged in the May 12, 2008, earthquake. It is one of the 13 school reconstruction projects by non-government organisations with support from the Trust Fund in Support of Reconstruction in the Sichuan Earthquake Stricken Areas and is undertaken by Hong Kong's Operation Concern. Mr Chen, accompanied by the Chairman of Operation Concern, Professor Leung Ping-chung, visited the reconstruction site of the kindergarten and joined students attending classes at a temporary campus. Mr Chen also presented lanterns to the children for celebrating the coming Mid-Autumn Festival.
The estimated total cost of the Chongzhou Zhengdong Jie Kindergarten project is about HK$10 million. While the Trust Fund has provided HK$5 million in funding support to the project, Operation Concern has topped up the rest with donations received. Operation Concern is implementing the project hand in hand with the local municipal government, with technical support from the Civil Engineering Department of the University of Hong Kong. The reconstruction works, expected to be completed by November this year, will provide new school facilities for the 300 children of the kindergarten.
Qinglong Town Junior Secondary School is another school reconstruction project supported by the HKSAR. The new premises were inaugurated in November 2010. The estimated total cost of the project was about RMB14.6 million.
Ends/Thursday, September 1, 2011
Issued at HKT 16:06