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Commission on Poverty Summit

Yesterday, I chaired this year's Commission on Poverty Summit, the theme of which was "promoting youth upward mobility".

At the Summit, many participants suggested that more opportunities should be provided for young students to gain extracurricular experience. I fully support this suggestion.

Eight years ago, a tragedy happened to a family in Tin Shui Wai. It prompted me to go to Yuen Long to discuss with the Yuen Long District Secondary School Heads Association ways to help secondary students in the district. We finally decided that arrangements be made by the Hong Kong Coalition of Professional Services to provide Secondary 5 students in the district with summer internships in professional firms.

At a sharing session held after the internship period ended, a student girl said, "The greatest insight that I have gained from my internship in a law film is that he (the lawyer who guided her) is a human being, and so am I. If he can make it, so can I - as long as I make an effort." Seven years have passed but I am still deeply touched by these words.

Some people may get internships for their children simply by calling their friends. But how about grassroots families?

I appeal to you to provide more internship opportunities for students from such families, not only so that they can gain working experience, but also so they can learn about the wider society and better understand interpersonal relationships.

Not every young person can study at a university. But we must give every secondary student the chance to learn in the "social university" in their senior secondary years, so that all young people of Hong Kong can attain high capabilities regardless of academic qualifications.

I have confidence in our young people.

Some secondary students were invited to the Summit yesterday. I took some pictures with them afterwards.

Photo   Photo

October 11, 2015