The Standing Committee on Language Education and Research (SCOLAR) discussed the progress of a survey being undertaken by SCOLAR on the use of Putonghua as the medium of instruction (MOI) for the Chinese Language Subject at its meeting today (9 September).
The SCOLAR Support Unit sent questionnaires to all secondary and primary schools during the summer holidays. It was found out that of the 800 odd schools which participated in the survey, 12 have been using Putonghua as the MOI for Chinese Language Subject during or before the previous school year (1998/1999). An additional 15 schools have indicated that they plan to introduce Putonghua as the MOI for the Chinese Language Subject from this school year (1999/2000).
"We are pleased to note that 18 of the schools which now use Putonghua as the MOI for Chinese Language Subject have agreed to our planned school visits, and to co-operate fully with us in our further research to explore the potential benefits and effects of using Putonghua as the MOI on students' learning of Chinese and Putonghua," said the Chairman of SCOLAR, Dr Daniel Tse Chi-wai.
Members also discussed the progress on the preparation for launching the English in the Workplace Campaign and welcomed the appointment of the Steering Committee on the English in the Workplace Campaign to oversee the Campaign's planning and implementation. They considered and endorsed a $12 million budget to support the Campaign's programmes and publicity events.
SCOLAR also endorsed earmarking $50 million from the Language Fund to fund English Language training programmes for employees. The scheme will be launched as one of the core components of the Campaign.
SCOLAR has also established a task group to work out the funding arrangements as well as to pursue the proposal of setting workplace English competency benchmarks.
"We look forward to working with the Steering Committee to ensure that the key messages of the Campaign – to raise general awareness of the importance of English in the workplace and to improve workplace English standards – are effectively conveyed to all sectors of the community," Dr Tse concluded.