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Jan retail sales up 0.9%

The value of total retail sales in January, provisionally estimated at $36.5 billion, rose 0.9% compared with the same month in 2023, the Census & Statistics Department announced today.   After netting out the effect of price changes over the same period, the provisional estimate represents a 1.2% year-on-year decrease.   Of the total retail sales value in January, online sales accounted for 6.5%. Provisionally estimated at $2.4 billion, the value of this segment went down by 20.9% compared with a year earlier.   Noting that retail sales tend to show greater volatility in the first two months of a year due to the timing of the Lunar New Year, the department said the year-on-year comparison of the figures might have been affected to a certain extent.   The value of sales of jewellery, watches and clocks, and valuable gifts increased 25.2% compared with January 2023.   Increases were also recorded in the sales of other consumer goods not elsewhere classified (up 7

Flexibility allowed in new subject

Secretary for Education Kevin Yeung today said there is still flexibility for teachers when teaching the new core subject of Citizenship & Social Development within the curriculum framework.   Citizenship & Social Development is one of four senior secondary core subjects in lieu of Liberal Studies that will be implemented at Secondary 4 in the 2021-22 school year.   Speaking to reporters after attending radio programmes today, Mr Yeung explained that teachers have to follow the curriculum framework to achieve its objective.   “Within that framework, I think there is still flexibility for teachers to exercise their professional judgement to amend some of the materials to cater for the different needs of their students.   “In terms of any particular subject or issue whether they could discuss or not, I think that is more a professional judgement of teachers. So long as it is within the curriculum framework, and also it could meet the curriculum objectives and it is suitable for the age group of students, I think that should be okay.”   Asked if there are any specific requirements for schools to follow on National Security Education Day, Mr Yeung said the Education Bureau has encouraged schools to arrange activities on the concept of national security.   “The coming April 15 is the first National Security Education Day after the passing of the Hong Kong National Security Law. We have issued a circular back in March to encourage schools to arrange more activities on that day to introduce the national security concept or more national security education for their students.   “So schools could arrange, for example, flag-raising ceremonies or some briefings or seminars for their students. Also they could arrange a number of activities for their students to participate so as to know more about the national security education and also this concept. As the Education Bureau, we have also organised two major activities for students to participate.”
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