Hong Kong proposes e-Learning pilot scheme

The Working Group on Textbooks & e-Learning Resources Development has submitted a report proposing a three-year promoting e-learning pilot scheme be launched in up to 30 primary and secondary schools in the 2010-11 school year, said the Hong Kong government recently.

The group suggested the development of the depository of curriculum-based learning and teaching resources be expedited and strengthened at the primary and junior secondary levels with additional resources from the 2009-10 school year.

The report proposed a one-off grant to be disbursed to all primary and secondary schools this school year for buying e-learning resources in the next three years, and an e-commerce platform for e-learning resources and an online community for teachers at the Education City website be established, the government noted.

The group also recommends debundling printed textbooks and learning and teaching resources for pricing. "This practice is in line with the user-pays principle and teachers will be able to get proper teaching materials of their own choice," said Kenneth Chen, Working group chairman and Under Secretary for Education.

Besides, the group proposes to textbooks' three-year rule of no revision to five years from 2010-11. "It takes three years to complete a key learning stage and another two years to revise and review a published textbook for that particular learning stage, "said Chen. "The prerequisite requirement is there must be strong justification for any revision."

Other recommendations in the report include:

* considering forming a steering committee to supervise the e-learning pilot scheme's implementation and to make recommendations on long-term strategies on using e-learning resources;

* encouraging and supporting the establishment of a cross-sector working group which will attempt to promote collaboration and partnership among schools, the publishing sector and the IT sector;

* conducting in-depth studies into the intellectual property rights issue related to using e-learning resources and the possible impact on students' health due to frequent use of such resources to formulate strategies and support measures;

* enhancing communication with parent organizations to collect their views on textbook quality and prices and reflecting them to textbook publishers; and,

* encouraging schools to launch school-based textbook recycling programs.

This story, "Hong Kong proposes e-Learning pilot scheme" was originally published by Computerworld Hong Kong.

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