The Government has been investing heavily in education to enhance
Hong Kong's competitiveness in a knowledge-based and globalised
economy. Approved recurrent public expenditure and total public
expenditure on education in the 2003-04 financial year amounted
to $49.3 billion and $61 billion respectively, representing 23.8
per cent of both recurrent and total government expenditure.
SINCE October 2000, the Government has implemented a comprehensive education
reform for various stages of education from early childhood to tertiary
and continuing education. The overall objective of the reform is to promote
all-round education for all and to inculcate in young people the motivation
and ability for lifelong learning so that they can keep up with the pace
of change in the new millennium.
The reform covers a wide range of initiatives, including
reform of the curriculum, teaching practices, admission systems and assessment
mechanisms. Measures have also been introduced to increase opportunities
for senior secondary and post-secondary education, provide more choice
and diversity; empower schools and in return, increase the transparency
and accountability of schools; and step up the professional development
of principals and teachers as well as support for them.
It is generally observed that since the abolition
of the Academic Aptitude Test, children are happier at school and they
now have more chance to attain deeper understanding through project work
and experiential learning activities; that good practices and knowledge
generated through action research in professional learning communities
are shared more widely within and among schools; and that parents are
more involved in their children's learning and are volunteering their
services more actively in support of the schools.