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FS outlines fiscal consolidation plan

In the 2024-25 Budget announced today, Financial Secretary Paul Chan proposed a number of measures to increase revenue and outlined a fiscal consolidation programme which aims to restore fiscal balance in a few years’ time.   Mr Chan said even though the Government strived to reduce expenditure as the COVID-19 pandemic had subsided, the total expenditure for 2023-24 reached $727.9 billion, representing an increase of 36.9% compared with 2018-19, of which operating expenditure rose substantially by 40.2% whereas operating revenue increased only 13.1%.   On capital works, owing to the fact that the Government has been pressing ahead with land and housing supply projects, along with other infrastructure works for improving the environment and people’s livelihood, the average annual expenditure has increased from about $76 billion over the past five years to about $85 billion in 2023-24.   Fiscal reserves have dropped to the current level of $733.2 billion.   Fiscal consoli

Teacher base established in GZ

The Education Bureau has established Hong Kong’s first teacher training and exchange base at South China Normal University (SCNU) in Guangzhou, with Secretary for Education Choi Yuk-lin attending a plaque-unveiling ceremony for it today.


Speaking at the ceremony, Ms Choi expressed gratitude to the Ministry of Education for its support, and to the Guangdong Department of Education and the Liaison Office of the Central People’s Government in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region for their guidance and co-ordination in facilitating the establishment of the base.


She said that SCNU offers teacher education with unique characteristics zealously supports the professional development of Hong Kong teachers.


The university was the first institution to organise training for Hong Kong teachers following the full resumption of normal travel between Hong Kong and the Mainland early last year. In the past eight months or so, it has organised eight study tours and trained around 900 Hong Kong teachers, including 60 non-Chinese speaking teachers.


Ms Choi said the Education Bureau would step up co-operation with SCNU and, through the base, make good use of the university’s strengths, professional development platform, training experience, network and resources, to develop diversified and high-quality teacher training projects that enable educators in Hong Kong and the Mainland to learn from one another and thrive together.


Today also saw the launch of new Mainland study tours for new teachers from Hong Kong. The Education Secretary said she hoped participating teachers would treasure the opportunity to study on the Mainland and observe national modernisation for themselves.


She added that she hoped the tours would enhance teachers’ affection for and sense of belonging to the country, encourage them to share good stories about the country’s education, and strengthen their national pride and sense of responsibility in guiding students to integrate into the country's overall development proactively.


This morning, Ms Choi toured the Affiliated High School of SCNU to learn about its vision and curriculum. In the afternoon, she exchanged views with SCNU leaders and met Hong Kong students.


Yesterday, Ms Choi visited Sun Yat-sen University and met its President Prof Gao Song to learn about developments at the institution.

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