|HKSAR students learn more about NPC
A group of Hong Kong SAR students are learning more about the functions and powers of the National People's Congress (NPC) - the highest organ of state power.
The 22 students met this (August 6) morning with the Chief of the Department of the State Law of the Legislative Affairs Commission of the Standing Committee of the NPC, Mr Chen Sixi.
Led by Deputy Secretary for Constitutional Affairs, Ms Grace Lui, the students are the winners of the Basic Law Promotion Day Competition which was co-organised by the Constitutional Affairs Bureau (CAB) and the Education and Manpower Bureau from March to May this year.
This was the group's first visit with Beijing officials in their seven-day prize trip to the capital. They arrived in Beijing yesterday.
Mr Chen, who is also Chief of the Office of the Commission of Basic Law of HKSAR, gave them a warm welcome and briefed them on the functions and powers of the NPC, such as amending the constitution, supervising the enforcement of the constitution, and enacting and amending basic laws.
In the afternoon, the students visited the Hong Kong and Macao Affairs Office of the State Council and met with Director General, Department of Legal Affairs, Mr Zhang Rongshun. They also visited the Office of the HKSAR Government in Beijing, and met its Director, Mr Bowen Leung.
Ms Lui said that the competition adopted an innovative format by asking the Form 3 and Form 4 participants to design Basic Law promotional programmes, which would suit young people's tastes.
The award-winning schools will be able to put their proposals into practice. The CAB will give sponsorship of up to $10,000 to these schools to stage a "Basic Law Promotion Day" in October. The activities would be based on the winning entries.
The objective of the competition was to enhance the students' understanding of the "One Country, Two Systems" concept and how the implementation of the mini-constitution affected them, she said.
"We awarded the winners a visit to Beijing, which includes meeting with officials, exchanges with local students, visits to museums and sightseeing, so that they would broaden their knowledge about our country," she said.
Turning to other Basic Law promotional activities organised by the HKSAR Government, Ms Lui said that the Steering Committee for the Promotion of the Basic Law had been revising its promotion strategies according to the views and aspirations of the community.
She said that the committee had adopted the promotion strategies for the days ahead.
"Firstly, we will promote the principles and contents of the Basic Law in a comprehensive manner and the historical background and the process of its enactment.
"Secondly, the activities will incorporate elements of national education to enable the public to have a deeper understanding of the history, constitution and social system of our country.
"Thirdly, wider participation of community organisations in collaboration with the Government in the promotion of the Basic Law will be encouraged," she said.
Ms Lui said that since the re-unification, the Government had spent more than $33 million on the promotion of the Basic Law. In 2004/05, a provision of more than $5 million had been made for organising promotional activities.
Since April this year, such activities organised included the "TV Quiz on the Basic Law", "Radio Quiz on the Basic Law", a student flag-raising ceremony to mark the 14th anniversary of the promulgation of the Basic Law, roving exhibitions on the national flag, emblem and anthem, seminars on the Basic Law and constitutional development of HKSAR, intensive courses on the Basic Law for primary and secondary school principals and civic education teachers, and launching of a new Basic Law resource webpage containing teaching resources for teachers' reference.
Ms Lui said that the Government had produced 18 TV APIs (Government Announcements in the Public Interest) to promote the Basic Law in the past three years. These TV APIs had been telecast more than 12,000 times.
Apart from government efforts, various community organisations had also participated in the promotion of the Basic Law.
In the past two years, more than 120 activities had been organised for the promotion of the Basic law.
Since 1996, the Government and community organisations had produced 80 items of Basic Law promotion materials including videotapes, CDs, teaching kits and pamphlets.
"The Government is committed to enhancing public understanding of the Basic Law. Achievements have been made," Ms Lui said.
"Results of public opinion surveys conducted in 2000 and 2002 reveal that the percentage of respondents among the general public who claimed that they had heard of the Basic Law has increased from 80% in 2000 to 90% in 2002.
"Those who perceived that they had some or a good knowledge of the Basic Law has nearly doubled from 25% to 48%.
"For students, those who considered that they had some or a good knowledge of the Basic Law has increased from 32% in 2000 to 57% to 2002," she said.
Concerning the "Basic Law Promotion Day Competition", Ms Lui said it had drawn 68 entries from 53 schools.
The winning teams were also awarded trophies, award certificates and book coupons worth from $100 to $500 in addition to the Beijing trip, she said.
The results of the competition are as follows:
St. Paul's School (Lam Tin) team - Ivy Lam, Elaine Lam, Yolanda Yu, Gillian Lam, Sally Lui
Madam Lau Kam Lung Secondary School of Miu Fat Buddhist Monastery team - Ho Mei Kwan, Lee Sin Ting, Ma Po Yi, Pang Nga Yin, Man Ka Yiu
Diocesan Girls' School team - Lillian Cham Wing Chi, Jamilla Li Wai Yan, Lo Yee Sum, Wan Sau Man
Fukien Secondary School (Siu Sai Wan) team - Cheung Man Cheon, Ng Hiu Ping, Chiu Mei Yi, Pong King Lun, Wong Chi Kwan
Lai Chack Middle School team - Wong Pui Man, Fu Tsz Fung, Chan Ka Yan, Chan Lai Chu, Ho Ying Ying
Ends/Friday, August 6, 2004