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Motion on “Boosting and reviving the academic standard and atmosphere of Hong Kong’s mathematics and the sciences, and fully supporting the hosting of international mathematics competitions” (Amendment passed)

Hon Charles Peter MOK’s amendment

(#Note: Bold and underlined: Additional wording; Deletion line: Deletion of original wording)

That Hong Kong has been awarded the right to host the 57th International Mathematical Olympiad (‘IMO’) in 2016, and IMO as one of the international competitions of the highest standard in the mathematics community not only helps to upgrade Hong Kong’s international reputation and status, but can also stimulate students’ innovative ideas and desire for knowledge, which is conducive to promoting the development of new technology-intensive industries in Hong Kong; in 1994, Governor Chris PATTEN himself acted as the patron and fully supported Hong Kong’s hosting of the 35th IMO, and since the Hong Kong IMO Team’s first participation in the competition in 1988, its results have all along ranked among the top positions; as such, this Council urges the Government to fully support the IMO Hong Kong Committee in organizing the 57th IMO; specific measures should include: 


(1) since the opening and closing ceremonies of previous IMO competitions were all presided over by the heads of state, important royal family members or heads of government of the host countries or cities in the capacity as patrons, Hong Kong should also follow this tradition with the Chief acting as the patron of the 57th IMO, so as to show its hospitality as the host; 


(2) to provide necessary assistance to contestants from various countries and their accompanying staff in respect of entry visas; 


(3) following the practice of previous IMOs, to assign relevant government officials and nominees of the IMO Hong Kong Committee as observers of the 55th IMO in 2014 and the 56th IMO in 2015, so that they can offer advice and support to Hong Kong regarding the hosting of the 57th IMO; 


(4) with the Home Affairs Bureau responsible for co-ordinating the joint participation of relevant policy bureaux and departments of the Government and allocating resources appropriately, to strive to conduct publicity and encourage the various sectors of the society to participate in this great event enthusiastically to enhance the society’s interest in learning mathematics; 


(5) as the hosting of this international great event involves substantial expenses, while the Education Bureau has agreed to support the hosting of this great event in principle and sponsor the costs of the opening and closing ceremonies and medal production, the Government should also assist the IMO Hong Kong Committee in applying for funding from the Mega Events Fund and other financial assistance, so that the Committee can receive more resources to provide team leaders, contestants and accompanying staff from various countries with meals, accommodation, in-town transport, souvenirs and other necessities, and organize 

publicity activities that can help to promote Hong Kong’s cultural characteristics for the participation of the various participating teams and accompanying staff, with a view to enhancing Hong Kong’s international image; 


(6) to assist the IMO Hong Kong Committee in applying to the Commerce and Economic Development Bureau for funding from the General Support Programme under the Innovation and Technology Fund and other related funding, and, taking the opportunity of Hong Kong’s hosting this international mathematics competition, to encourage and cultivate an atmosphere of learning mathematics on campus, strengthen students’ grasp of mathematics, and nurture and retain more talents with competitiveness for the development of new technology-intensive industries in Hong Kong; 


(7) to continue to support the Hong Kong IMO Team in participating in various mathematics competitions held in the Mainland, so as to promote cultural and academic exchanges between both places; 


(8) by making reference to foreign governments’ practice of funding the training of outstanding mathematics talents, to assist the IMO Hong Kong Committee in applying to the Education Bureau for funding from the Quality Education Fund to finance those students winning awards in international or Mainland mathematics competitions, or those with outstanding mathematics potentials and nominated by schools to receive elite training, so as to further boost Hong Kong students’ standard of mathematics and the sciences and the atmosphere of learning mathematics; and 


(9) through the provision of appropriate funding, to encourage various professional institutes and organizations in Hong Kong to organize more promotional activities with students as the main target for enhancing students’ understanding and interest towards the academic disciplines in mathematics and the sciences, and for attracting more students to enroll and participate in the relevant scientific research projects, with a view to raising the society’s degree of importance attached to the academic and professional development concerned and upgrading the academic and 

professional standards of mathematics and the sciences; and 

(10) to implement the recommendation in the consultation document entitled 2014 Digital 21 Strategy’ to include programming in basic education, so as to further enhance primary and secondary students’ logical thinking of mathematics and the sciences and their problem-solving skills, and help them make flexible use of information and communications technology to meet future challenges.

Office Of Hon. Charles Mok, Legislative Councillor (IT)