An innovative education programme for failed students

Sau Wai Christina NG-WONG, See Shing YEUNG

Research output: Contribution to conferencePapers


Each year in Hong Kong, only about 50% of Secondary Five students (age 16+) can pass the Hong Kong Certificate of Education (HKCEE), which is the threshold qualification for any further pursuit of education or employment. There has been concern for those who did not survive conventional schooling. Recent studies on education have increasingly emphasized life-long learning in the community. For students to be able to continue learning throughout their life, the development of appropriate generic skills is believed to be vital. An innovative continuing education programme known as Project Yi Jin (PYJ) was introduced by the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Government for those students who failed in the HKCEE. PYJ provides an alternative pathway for students to obtain a formal qualification equivalent to HKCEE. Instead of using the mainstream curriculum for secondary school, PYJ adopts a holistic approach in curriculum design, aiming at developing students’ generic skills. It is expected that students will acquire and develop certain skills that are generic enough to enable them to cope with personal, social and career development. A total of 2,806 students who attended PYJ responded to 13 survey items about their generic skills before PYJ (Time 1) and 13 parallel items after PYJ (Time 2). Principal components analysis found three dimensions of generic skills, viz., Cognitive, Academic, and Affective dimensions before PYJ and three parallel dimensions after PYJ. Repeated-measures analysis of variance found that the students scored significantly higher in each of the three dimensions in Time 2 than in Time 1. There was evidence of enhanced generic skills through PYJ. Whereas there was support for the effectiveness of PYJ, the findings also call for attention to the importance of generic skills in the curriculum of primary and secondary schools.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 2005


Ng, C., & Yeung, A. S. (2005, January). An innovative education programme for failed students. Paper presented at the 18th International Congress for School Effectiveness and Improvement (ICSEI): Breaking Boundaries: Radical Innovation in Education, Barcelona, Spain.


  • Secondary Education
  • Theory and Practice of Teaching and Learning


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