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Speech by Mr K C Kwong
Secretary for Information Technology and Broadcasting
at the Prize Presentation Ceremony of the VTech IT Innovation Award

20 March 1999

Chairman Wong, ladies and gentlemen,

Today I am very delighted to have the opportunity to attend the Prize Presentation Ceremony of VTech IT Innovation Award.

I am very pleased to see that this competition has the active participation and support of schools and this fully reflects the interest and enthusiasm of our secondary school students in information technology and the use of the Internet.

It is clearly evidenced from the entries that the participating students can make innovative use of various Internet technologies in their expression of the theme "We Are Hong Kong - City of Life". The design, choice of material and graphics of the web pages together with the techniques used fully reflect the ingenuity of and efforts made by the students. The winning entries will be put on the web site of the Hong Kong Tourist Association, not only for the purpose of tourist promotion, but also for showing to other places the innovation of our Hong Kong students in the use of information technology.

I must take this opportunity to extend my appreciation to all participating students, as well as to their schools and teachers for the great efforts they have made to encourage and assist the students in joining this competition. I must also thank VTech Holdings Ltd. for organising this competition which contributes to the training of local IT personnel and the promotion of the development of IT and tourism. Besides, I am also grateful to the Education Department and the Hong Kong Tourist Association for their assistance in organising this competition and the Hong Kong School Net which serves as the technical consultant of the competition.

Promoting the wide use of IT within the community is a key element of our "Digital 21" IT strategy. To achieve this objective, one of our major initiatives is to instil IT knowledge in our students, to enhance their imagination and creativity, so as to enable them to seek, evaluate, organise and present information and to develop lifelong learning habits. Therefore, we will implement the 5-year strategy on IT in education. We will spend $3.2 billion in capital expenditure and over $550 million annually in the coming 5 years for providing schools with IT equipment, giving more IT training to teachers, developing IT curriculum and enhancing resource support for IT in education.

Finally, I hope that the VTech Innovation Award will be held again next year and there would be more of such activities in future to support the "Digital 21" IT strategy of the Government in nurturing our next generation of IT excellence and laying a good foundation for Hong Kong to stride forward in the Information Age.

Thank you.