Students from Chinese middle schools have impressed a panel of adjudicators headed by the Permanent Secretary for Education and Manpower, Mrs Fanny Law, and an audience of 800 teachers and students from their counterpart schools.
An English presentation today (18 December) was part of the activity Momentum – the Rising Bunch organised by the Association of Hong Kong Chinese Middle Schools. It targeted students of Chinese middle schools and formed part of the first English Festival initiated by the Standing Committee on Language Education and Research (SCOLAR).
"Debating provides an opportunity for students to practise the effective use of English. The activity is a good showcase of students' mastery of the English language through their participation in various competitions and workshops," a SCOLAR spokesman said.
"The Association of Hong Kong Chinese Middle Schools first organised the activity last school year. Given its overwhelming success, SCOLAR decides to sponsor the Association in staging the activity again this year under the English Festival. We believe that it will encourage more Chinese Middle School students to use and learn English," he said.
Apart from the debate presentation, the activity also includes an English word game and a series of English poetry writing workshops to be held in the second term of the school year. It is anticipated that 100 teams of students will participate in the word games, while 200 Secondary 1 to Secondary 7 students will receive training in poetry writing. The activity is open for enrolment by students from all Chinese middle schools.
The two finalist teams in today's debate presentation – Pui Ching Middle School and Pooi To Middle School – had defeated 26 other teams in three initial rounds and a semi-final in the competition. The motion of the debate was "That Putonghua should be used as the medium of instruction in Hong Kong".
Winners from last year, namely Tak Ching Girls' Secondary School, Homantin Government Secondary School, STAF Tam Pak Yu College, Kowloon Tong School (Secondary Section) and Hotung Secondary School, were also invited to give a demonstration on the word games and poetry writing competition at the event.
Funded by the Language Fund, the English Festival aims at raising public interest in the learning and use of English through a variety of activities, ranging from drama performances and workshops, skipping competitions, television programmes, debating, poetry writing to word games. Festival activities are held between September 2004 and June 2005.
Established in 1996, SCOLAR advises the Government on language education issues and the use of the Language Fund.