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By: Leisa Grace Wilson

As Hong Kong continues to make significant strides in the realm of education, various initiatives are being launched to bolster the quality of education through the Quality of Education Fund (QEF) and STEAM learning methodologies.

Signature QEF Products and Initiatives

One such noteworthy product is the “Robot in STEAM Education Fund Thematic Network (QTN)”, coordinated by the Buddhist Ho Nam Kam College. This initiative was rolled out in July 2022 and is a testament to Hong Kong’s commitment to integrating robotics and STEAM education.

The thematic network aims to:

*Support schools in implementing a 3-year robotics programme for primary students in grades 4-6.

*Offer hands-on robotics experiences to learners. Provide an editable resource package tailored to enhance STEAM education.

*Amplify teachers’ capabilities in the domain through tailored professional development activities.

This program has garnered significant participation, benefiting over 300 teachers and 12,000 students across 26 primary schools.

Furthermore, the QTN’s resource package is impressively comprehensive, featuring:

  • *Production guides for various robot types.
  • *Detailed lesson plans.
  • *Student handbooks.
  • *Demonstration videos and 3D animations.
  • *Materials that can be customised to align with specific school needs.
  • QEF’s e-Learning Ancillary Facilities Programme

To further the reach of e-learning, the QEF has rolled out an e-learning Ancillary Facilities Programme. Its core objective is cultivating, enriching, and delivering top-tier e-learning facilities that significantly enhance the e-learning experience. This is achieved by fostering deep-rooted collaboration between schools, tertiary institutions, and the business sector.

Special features of this programme include:

  • *Relaxed stipulations concerning IP rights and profit-making restrictions to boost EdTech product commercialisation.
  • *Sponsorships are available for publicly funded schools to utilise project outputs for a span of three years.
  • *Engage with strategic partners like Hong Kong Cyberport, Hong Kong Productivity Council, and Hong Kong Education City to ensure top-tier expertise and support at every project phase.

The programme has made a substantial investment, with 22 projects commencing in the early 2023/24 school year. These projects will harness cutting-edge technologies like artificial intelligence and big data across diverse subjects. They aim to benefit a broad spectrum of students, including those in secondary, primary, and kindergarten and those with special educational needs.

The QEF has earmarked a whopping $500 million (approximately USD 63.68M) for this initiative. This budget is strategically divided, with half allocated for the projects’ development and the other half earmarked for supporting publicly funded schools.

The categorisation of these 22 funded projects includes:

  • *STEAM/STEM (including Science and coding): 4 projects
  • *Special Educational Needs: 2 projects
  • *e-Learning/IT tools – English Language only: 5 projects
  • *e-Learning/IT tools – Chinese Language, English Language, Mathematics: 3 projects
  • *e-Learning/IT tools – Values Education/Information Literacy/General Studies: 2 projects
  • *e-Learning/IT tools – Other/Cross-disciplinary subjects: 4 projects
  • *Teachers training: 2 projects

If you are keen on exploring these projects further, short video clips are accessible on the HKEduCity website, providing a comprehensive introduction to each.

Hong Kong’s proactive approach to enhancing the quality of education through various innovative initiatives reflects its commitment to fostering a new generation of tech-savvy, globally competitive students. The emphasis on collaboration between educational institutions, business sectors, and technology hubs ensures that the city remains at the forefront of educational advancements in the region.