A BOOK subsidy for schools will be revived starting the next school year and substantially increased, costing the government around HK$48 million a year, Chief Executive Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor (林鄭月娥) announced.
Under this recurrent grant, which is aimed to promote reading, each public sector primary school will receive a HK$40,000 subsidy per year, while each secondary school will get HK$70,000.
The former grants of between HK$8,000 to HK$34,000 to buy reading materials for nurturing the reading habits of students and enhance their literacy was suspended by the previous administration in 2016 to save expenses.
Lam noted she had promised to promote the culture of reading in her manifesto and Policy Address.
She said, “The benefits of reading are multiple. I am a reader, I like reading books because it will enrich my knowledge, and will inspire ideas and thinking and so on.”
The government will also discuss with various kindergartens on how to promote reading among young children, and to provide additional resources if needed.
Education sector lawmaker Ip Kin-yuen (葉建源) welcomed the subsidy, saying the measure helps “correct a serious mistake in the policy decision two years ago”.
A school principal said the new grant could be used to buy printed books as well as e-books.
(This article is published on Junior Standard on 26 April 2018)
A different kind of reading culture
How the internet is making it harder to read books