Hope and more opportunities for the young

Top News | Sophie Hui 12 Oct 2017

Carrie Lam called on the youth to participate in public affairs even as she vowed to address concerns about their future.

"Our community should understand more about their feelings and needs, give them more support and create room for them to realize their potential," she said. "In the next five years, we will strive to do our best in youth development work by addressing their concerns about education, career pursuit and home ownership, and encourage their participation in politics, as well as public policy discussion and debate.

" In so doing, the younger generation will see hope and opportunities for upward mobility. This will, in turn, help address deep-rooted social conflicts."

To achieve this, she pledged the following:

Increase the overall ratio of youth members to 15 percent in various government committees within the current-term government.??

The Youth Development Commission chaired by the chief secretary for administration will start its work in the first half of next year.??

Plan the setting up of a commission on children in the middle of next year to gather relevant departments and child-concern groups to address issues.??

A HK$12 billion hostel development fund to provide subsidies for universities to build dormitories faster.??

Review the role and direction of self-financing post-secondary institutions and sub-degree programs by a task force led by former transport and housing chief Anthony Cheung Bing- leung.??

To improve students' sense of national identity, Lam said Chinese history will become a compulsory subject in junior secondary starting next school year.

Naomi Ho Sze-wai, a Youth Policy Advocators member, said Lam's youth policy does not respond to the real needs of the young generation.

"It's only a public relations tactic," she said, noting that youths have no real power as the committees are only consultative.

"Officials will also select pro- establishment and pro-Beijing elites as committee members," she said.

Education sector lawmaker Ip Kin- yuen said schools should be allowed to decide how to teach the subject.

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