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Belt and Road kit to aid HK schools

Updated: 2022-09-14 08:36 ( Xinhua )
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It struck Fion Yau as curious that her 12-year-old son knew so little about the Belt and Road Initiative, a focus of his mother's career for the past four years.

"My son knows that mommy works for a Belt and Road organization, but doesn't know what the buzzwords exactly mean," says Yau, general office director of the Hong Kong Belt and Road General Chamber of Commerce.

Yau has been busy connecting elites from industrial, commercial, and professional sectors across Hong Kong, Macao and Taiwan to assist in their business developments along the countries and regions involved in the BRI. Over the past year, she participated in a somewhat unusual project aiming to connect the initiative not with business people, but with Hong Kong children and teenagers.

After five months of gathering materials, and at least six rounds of well-advised revisions, now the chamber is adding the finishing touches to a new teaching kit designed for Hong Kong's primary and secondary schools to offer what she called an "encyclopedic" knowledge of the epoch-making initiative.

The kit has three versions: primary, junior secondary, and senior secondary. Each version has seven main chapters, with topics ranging from the BRI's origin to its direct relations with Hong Kong.

The primary version features more lively graphics and more content in the "aerospace dream" part to appeal to younger kids, hoping to inspire their interest in the building of the Belt and Road space information corridor and future participation in the country's undertakings in space.

The senior secondary version, more centered on political and economic subjects, has more than 110 pages and covers trending topics about the Belt and Road. Short-video and knowledge quiz contests will be organized to galvanize students' interest in this topic.

"What we are trying to do is kindle a little dream about the Belt and Road, with the belief that one day it will grow into something much bigger," says the chamber.

Set to be launched in some 50 Hong Kong schools in September based on "first-come, first-served "voluntary applications, the books are aimed to help teachers better interpret to the students what opportunities the initiative will bring to Hong Kong and to them, with vivid examples of Hong Kong's successful participation in the initiative.

Peter Lam, chairman of the chamber, says Hong Kong is in a unique position and has special advantages in contributing to the BRI, and he hopes that the teaching kit can help Hong Kong's young people get a share of the "dividends of the era".

Hong Kong can continue to promote regional collaboration and further develop high-end and high-value-added professional services to better perform as the functional platform for the Belt and Road.

"We want to show the students that they have more career choices than being a doctor, a lawyer or an engineer," says the chamber. "The Belt and Road has offered them a much bigger stage, and their first step to capturing the opportunities should be learning to understand the bigger picture."

This year marks the ninth anniversary of the BRI and the 25th anniversary of Hong Kong's return to the motherland.

The chamber's project, which was rolled out last month, has already been warmly embraced by a dozen schools, mirroring a shift in Hong Kong.

Compilation of the books won support from Hong Kong business communities, Belt and Road scholars and the State Information Center, which provided data support. With further revisions to be based on the feedback from front-line teachers and students, the chamber expects to introduce the kit to more schools in Hong Kong.

"The initiative is much more about infrastructure," Yau says. "Now I have more Belt and Road stories to share with my son."

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