After nearly three months since its launch in September, the Putonghua Festival 2004 climaxed at its Closing cum Award Presentation Ceremony held today (28 November).
Organised by the Standing Committee on Language Education and Research (SCOLAR) for a third consecutive year, the festival ran for 12 weeks with 16 school and community-based activities attracting over 100 000 participants.
Mr Michael Tien, Chairman of SCOLAR, was pleased with the results. "Three years after we first piloted the Putonghua Festival in 2002, we have eventually established its brand name as a flagship event in the promotion of the use and learning of Putonghua in schools and the community."
"However, we will not be complacent about our results so far. In the years to come, SCOLAR will further explore ways to promote the use and learning of Putonghua among our working population, by, say, riding on our success story of the Workplace English Campaign," Mr Tien said.
"This will be one of SCOLAR's major tasks in 2005. We anticipate active support from the society," he added.
The Closing cum Award Presentation Ceremony for Putonghua Festival 2004 was held today with Mr Joseph Wong, Secretary for the Civil Service, as the guest of honour. At the ceremony, awards were presented to winners in the Best Student Awards for Progress in Putonghua and the Most Creative School Awards for Promoting Putonghua categories, with performances by Putonghua-promotion organisations and the winners of the festival's singing and drama competitions already held earlier.
Highlights of the ceremony will be broadcast on the Putonghua Channel of RTHK (AM621/FM100.9 for Happy Valley, Causeway Bay and Wanchai Districts or FM103.3 for Tseung Kwan O District) and the RTHK website (http://www.rthk.org.hk) simultaneously between 4:00 p.m. and 6:00 p.m. on 4 December (Saturday).
Funded by the Language Fund, the Putonghua Festival has been held annually since 2002 to raise people's awareness of the importance of Putonghua and to provide them with more opportunities to learn and use the language. Over the years, more than 220 000 people participated in some 40 activities.
Established in 1996, SCOLAR advises the Government on language education issues and the use of the Language Fund.