HK students to have more field trips to mainland amid enhanced exchanges
Published: Aug 31, 2023 01:10 AM
High school students from Hong Kong visit the Greater Bay Area Youth Innovation and Entrepreneurship Base in Nansha district, Guangzhou on June 28, 2023. Photo: VCG

High school students from Hong Kong visit the Greater Bay Area Youth Innovation and Entrepreneurship Base in Nansha district, Guangzhou on June 28, 2023. Photo: VCG

Hong Kong students now have more options in their field trips, which are part of the compulsory Citizenship and Social Development curriculum for secondary school students, as they are being offered 26 options in more mainland provinces and regions in the new 2023-24 academic year, four more than the previous year, the city's education bureau said on Wednesday.

The new academic year's itineraries will mainly focus on two- to five-day group trips, and the one-day trips have been reduced from eight to three, with visits to Shenzhen and Guangzhou, Hong Kong media reported.

Seven new four- to five-day itineraries have been added, with visits to provinces and regions other than the neighboring Guangdong Province, including East China's Shanghai and Fujian, Central China's Hunan, and Southwest China's Chongqing and Guizhou.

The five-day trip to Chongqing includes a visit to a local social practice base where students receive national defense education and learn about the importance of safeguarding national security.

Students will also participate in other experiential learning activities at bases or schools in Shanghai and Guangzhou.

The first group to Guangdong is scheduled to depart in mid-October, while the first group heading for places outside Guangdong is scheduled to depart in mid-November.

The plan for the new academic year was announced at a meeting held on Monday at Jinan University in Guangdong Province, according to media reports.

The schedules for the field trips are tight, but each company and school will ensure that students have the maximum learning experience in the shortest amount of time, said Christine Choi Yuk-lin, secretary for education of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR).

A student from The Church of Christ in China Ming Kei College shared her insights and experiences as a representative: "When visiting the National Innovation Center for Advanced Medical Devices, I realized that our medical technology has reached such an advanced level. Even people in remote areas can receive the best diagnosis and treatment through technology."

The Hong Kong Education Bureau (EDB) and the Department of Education of Guangdong Province signed a framework agreement on strengthening education exchanges and cooperation on August 24.

Eric Chan Kwok-ki, chief secretary for administration of the HKSAR, said that the agreement aims to facilitate further education collaboration and exchanges between Guangdong and Hong Kong. It will also nurture talent to meet the needs of the social and economic development of the Greater Bay Area, and make greater contributions to the high-quality development of the country.

The EDB implemented the Citizenship and Social Development subject in 2021, and study tours to the mainland for the 2022-23 academic year only started in April due to the pandemic.

So far, 48,000 Hong Kong high school teachers and students have visited the mainland in approximately 450 exchange groups and their destinations covered some 200 sites including museums, schools, and enterprises.

The students have learned about the latest developments in the country, and gained an understanding of the opportunities for Hong Kong youth in the cities of the Greater Bay Area, media reports said.

Global Times