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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

Teacher base established in GZ

The Education Bureau has established Hong Kong’s first teacher training and exchange base at South China Normal University (SCNU) in Guangzhou, with Secretary for Education Choi Yuk-lin attending a plaque-unveiling ceremony for it today.


Speaking at the ceremony, Ms Choi expressed gratitude to the Ministry of Education for its support, and to the Guangdong Department of Education and the Liaison Office of the Central People’s Government in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region for their guidance and co-ordination in facilitating the establishment of the base.


She said that SCNU offers teacher education with unique characteristics zealously supports the professional development of Hong Kong teachers.


The university was the first institution to organise training for Hong Kong teachers following the full resumption of normal travel between Hong Kong and the Mainland early last year. In the past eight months or so, it has organised eight study tours and trained around 900 Hong Kong teachers, including 60 non-Chinese speaking teachers.


Ms Choi said the Education Bureau would step up co-operation with SCNU and, through the base, make good use of the university’s strengths, professional development platform, training experience, network and resources, to develop diversified and high-quality teacher training projects that enable educators in Hong Kong and the Mainland to learn from one another and thrive together.


Today also saw the launch of new Mainland study tours for new teachers from Hong Kong. The Education Secretary said she hoped participating teachers would treasure the opportunity to study on the Mainland and observe national modernisation for themselves.


She added that she hoped the tours would enhance teachers’ affection for and sense of belonging to the country, encourage them to share good stories about the country’s education, and strengthen their national pride and sense of responsibility in guiding students to integrate into the country's overall development proactively.


This morning, Ms Choi toured the Affiliated High School of SCNU to learn about its vision and curriculum. In the afternoon, she exchanged views with SCNU leaders and met Hong Kong students.


Yesterday, Ms Choi visited Sun Yat-sen University and met its President Prof Gao Song to learn about developments at the institution.

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