Senior secondary school students in Hong Kong will have an opportunity to observe the city’s top government officials closely and gain insights on what it takes to run the city, thanks to a summer program announced by authorities over the weekend.
In a blog post Sunday, Chief Secretary Matthew Cheung Kin-chung revealed that the government is inviting applications from students to participate in a “Be a Government Official for a Day” program.
Under the program, selected students will be given the chance to shadow the government’s principal officials for a day as the officials go about their administrative duties.
The scheme, which is part of the “Life Buddies” mentoring initiative for senior secondary students, is aimed at providing the pupils a hands-on experience regarding the work of senior officials and help them gain better understanding of the government’s operation.
Students interested in joining the program, to be held in July and august, can submit applications from now until May 11.
The program is open to students who are in Secondary Four and Five levels in the 2017/18 academic year, the Hong Kong Economic Journal reports.
Details of the program will be announced on Monday.
According to Cheung, all of the government’s three principal secretaries and 13 bureau chiefs will participate in the program and share with the students their experiences on personal growth, learning and careers, as well as their passion and ideals towards work.
“Through interaction, we can understand the students’ thoughts about their future and their goals,” Cheung wrote in his blog.
Candidates aspiring to shadow top officials are required to be self-motivated, interested in public services and possess good analytical and communication skills. And they should be recommended by their respective schools.
The students who will be participating in the program will be well taken care of by teachers with preparation workshops, in-program personal support and post-scheme reviews and sharing, Cheung said.
The chief secretary stressed the program will embody the government’s new policy style, as well as allow participating students to see for themselves what a day at work of a principal official is like, which he believes will be an unforgettable experience for the youngsters.
Besides the program, Cheung also mentioned in his blog that the Youth Development Commission (YDC), which is chaired by him, will devise a work plan regarding how it will use the HK$1 billion budget to support youth development.
The commission will look deeply into what policy issues are relevant to young people, as well as take steps to steer and boost collaboration among government agencies in relation to implementation of youth-related policies, strategies and initiatives.
The government should not adopt a top-down approach when it comes to youth policies but should give young people more opportunities to participate in public affairs, Cheung said, noting that such approach will help authorities gain better understanding on what the youth think and expect.
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