Using E-Book for Learning

Using E-Book for Learning

K. C. Chu (IVE (Tsing Yi), Hong Kong) and Queendy Lam (Meinhardt (Hong Kong) Limited, Hong Kong)
Copyright: © 2006 |Pages: 6
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-59140-799-7.ch180
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The vocational education system in Hong Kong is seen as changing in step with the development in industry (O & Chu, 2003). At the beginning of the ’50s until the late ’60s, Hong Kong was an entrepôt trade economy. However, skills and technology transferred from Shanghai, a steady immigration came from Guangdong, and increasing amounts of local investment had promoted Hong Kong‘s industrial foundation. By the early ’50s, the Education Department of Hong Kong began to recognize “the increasing importance of Hong Kong as a manufacturing and industrial center,” and time and effort were being devoted to the development of technical education. During this period of time, we witnessed the building of a vocational school (1953) and technical college (1957); they had aimed at providing vocational education and training for post-Form 3 and -Form 5 leavers. Successful textile manufacturing, followed by new international investments in other infant industries including electronics through the 1960s and 1970s contributed to the socialization of the workforce. By the early 1960s, there was a widely recognized link between industry and technical education. By the mid-1970s, education discourse and documents professed the need to increase the proportion of the curriculum devoted to “practical education” in general secondary schools (White Paper: Secondary Education in Hong Kong over the Next Decade, 1974). Government land sales, efficient infrastructure planning, and the setting up of the economic zones in China all had contributed to a growth rate averaging 10% each year throughout the 1980s and the early 1990s; these achievements had further improved the investment climate. During this period of time, Hong Kong further expanded technical education at the tertiary level. The link between vocational education and training, and the newer infrastructure and high-technology-related forms of industrialization were clearly outlined in the Report of the Advisory Committee on Diversification of the Economy in 1979. All these changes in the economic environment had been well served by the corresponding changes in the vocational education system as evidenced by the rapid and high economic growth in the ’70s, ’80s, and the early ’90s. The VTC (Vocational Training Council) was established in 1982 under the Vocational Training Council Ordinance to provide and promote a cost-effective and comprehensive system of vocational education and training to meet the needs of the economy. Under VTC, preemployment and in-service education and training are provided by the Hong Kong Institute of Vocational Education (IVE), VTC School of Business and Information Systems (SBI) and its training and development centers. The mission of VTC is to provide cost-effective alternative routes and flexible pathways for school leavers and adult learners to acquire skills and knowledge for lifelong learning and enhanced employability (VTC, 2004). Since the late ’90s, the volatile employment market, declining industry, and desire to become a knowledge-based society have triggered yet another education reform. Two important documents have been published by the Hong Kong government to paint out the education reform and the blueprint for the education system in Hong Kong for the 21st century: Reform Proposals for the Education System in Hong Kong by the Education Commission (2000), and the Report on Higher Education in Hong Kong by Chairman Lord S. R. Sutherland (2002) of the University Grant Committee. In response to the Sutherland report (2002), the Vocational Training Council formulated a strategic plan for the change. The plan is to increase e-learning within the VTC to • promote an e-learning culture and to identify teaching staff who make effective use of the Web for teaching, • encourage staffs to build a learning community on their Web sites, • encourage staffs to provide students with an active Web site, and • encourage staffs to conduct virtual (online) tutorials and virtual help desks.

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