Gov’t to foster local youth’s physical, mental development

Saturday, December 6, 2008
Issue 549, Page 2
Word count: 568
Published in: Macau Daily Times

By Poyi (Natalie) Leung

A youth gambling prevention group will be set up jointly by the government and community organisations for executing measures to ensure young people’s all round development in the next four years.

A conference was held yesterday with members of the education committee and the youth affairs committee at the Education and Youth Affairs Bureau (DSEJ).

Secretary for Social Affairs and Culture, Chui Sai On, who was the chairman of the committees, presided the meeting which talked about supervision on public entertainment venues, suggestions to the Macau Youth All-Round Development Strategy in the area of gaming, and also reviewed works in non tertiary education and youth affairs in 2008 and looked into policy planning of 2009.

Two representatives from the inspection department of environmental health and licensing and also the administrative licensing department at the Civic and Municipal Affairs Bureau were invited to the conference.

The IACM officials introduced to the committees the existing regulations to internet cafés, games centres and adult shops, what the regulations’ restrictions were and the level of execution.

According to the DSEJ spokeswoman Wong Hung in the press conference, the committees were concerned about what possible impacts those venues could impose on local youth’s physical and mental development, and they hoped that the government could reinforce related supervision.

Also, the committees pointed out that some regulations to such types of entertainment venues perhaps were “obsolete” and thus had room for amendments, Ms Wong said.

On the other hand, the spokeswoman said the DSEJ would set up a youth gambling prevention group with other government departments and community organisations in order to adopt the measures proposed for the youth services blueprint in the area of gaming, which was part of the Macau Youth All-Round Development Strategy.

The public consultation period of the blueprint was completed on October 31 this year.

In which opinions were more concentrated on young people’s all round development and values, cooperation and exchange between government departments and social services agencies, adoption of corporate social responsibility of gaming enterprises, professional support to youth services workers as well as improvement of service networks.

Ms Wong said most committees members were concerned about corporate social responsibility of gaming companies and hoped that communications with them could be strengthened.

During the conference, director of DSEJ, Sou Chio Fai, reviewed implementation of policies in non tertiary education and youth affairs during 2008 and also introduced the prospect of 2009.

In 2008, 15-year free education program was activated, places of university scholarship were increased, interest loan application was launched, and the framework of teaching staff system in private schools was still in the second round of public consultation, the spokeswoman said.

In terms of youth affairs, the DSEJ also focused on moral education and published relevant materials in order to help young people build right values and cultivate the sense of belonging to Macau and mainland China.

In the view of 2009, Ms Wong said the DSEJ would execute plans outlined in the policy address.

Of which, highlights included the inter-schools educational activities for the celebration of the 60th anniversary for the founding of the PRC and the 10th anniversary of the Macau SAR, promotion of Macau’s historical sites, educational publication for parents, organising 15-year-old students to take part in the Program for International Student Assessment (PISA) as well as distributing 1,500 pataca textbooks subsidy for each students with Macau identity cards and going to mainstream schools.

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