The opening ceremony of Robot Theatre under the Teaching and Learning for Children with Special Needs by using Intelligent Robots (Robot4SEN Project) funded by HSBC 150th Anniversary Charity Programme, was successfully held on 12th December, 2018 at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre. Ms Kathleen GAN, Group General Manager and Chief Finance Officer, Asia Pacific, HSBC; Professor SIN Kuen Fung, Director of Centre for Special Educational Needs and Inclusive Education, The Education University of Hong Kong and Ms SHUM Siu Fong, Chairperson of Hong Kong Special Schools Council were invited to officiate and witness the new milestone of robot-aided learning.
Full Support from the HSBC 150th Anniversary Charity Programme
Committed to supporting the Hong Kong community that has helped the bank flourish throughout the years, the HSBC 150th Anniversary Charity Programme has donated more than HKD40 million Hong Kong dollars to initiate the Robot4SEN Project (“the project”). The project is managed and led by TWGHs Kwan Fong Kai Chi School with support from over 30 special schools. Launched since November 2016, the project team has provided different programming trainings and school-based support for teachers in order to equip them with sufficient knowledge and skills. Today, 30 special schools have been allocated with intelligent robots, Pepper or Nao, and have successfully designed their own tailor-made learning packages for SEN children.
To commemorate the 150 years since HSBC’s founding in Hong Kong, the HSBC 150th Anniversary Charity Programme was established with a donation of HKD477 million in 2015 to support local charities to address real and significant needs in Hong Kong in the following themes: Youth and Education, Medical Health and Wellness, and Environment. The Robot4SEN project is one of 4 signature projects receiving funding under the Youth and Education theme.
Sharing by Teachers from 11 Special Schools
This is the second year for the project to participate in the Learning and Teaching Expo. This year, the project has set up a Robot Theatre at booth B11 and invited teachers from 11 special schools, including schools for children with mild, moderate and severe intellectual disability and visual impairment, to give 16 talks from 12 to 14 December. The speakers shared about their originally-designed learning packages, process of creation as well as the practical experiences of application.
Kick-off for Robot Theatre
The event began with a welcoming speech delivered by Ms SHUM Siu Fong, Chairperson of Hong Kong Special Schools Council, followed by an opening speech delivered by Ms Kathleen GAN, Group General Manager, Chief Finance Officer, Asia Pacific, HSBC. The kick-off ceremony was officiated by the invited honourable guests.
Wide Application of Robot-aided Teaching
The video clips shown during the ceremony were a demonstration of robot-aided teaching in class. By making good use of the human-like appearance of robots, teachers could conduct social skills trainings with autistic students repeatedly in a more interesting way. This could greatly enhance the learning motivation and sustain the attention of students. As robots possess the ability of movement, difficulties encountered by teachers in teaching abstract concepts, such as compass directions, could now be tackled by robot-aided learning. For students with motor limitation, they could also control the robots easily by giving simple commands.
Robot-aided Teaching Continues to Grow in Popularity
Robot Theatre allows the precious experiences of applying robots in teaching to be widely disseminated. In the future, robot-aided teaching could also be employed in normal schools and continue to benefit more students!
Since its establishment in 1870, TWGHs has been all along upholding its mission “To heal the sick and to relieve the distressed; to care for the elderly and to rehabilitate the disabled; to promote education and to nurture youngsters; and to raise the infants and to guide the children.” Nowadays, TWGHs is the largest charitable organisation with the longest history in Hong Kong. For over a hundred years, TWGHs’ medical and health, education and community services have developed rapidly to fulfill the needs of the society and to provide high quality services at low rates or for free. Today, TWGHs operates 321 services centres, including 5 hospitals and 30 Chinese and Western medicine services centres, 55 education services centres, 229 community services centres that cover elderly, youth and family, rehabilitation and traditional services, as well as the Tung Wah Museum and TWGHs Maisy Ho Archives and Relics Centre, which were established to promote, restore and preserve the heritage and relics of TWGHs, with an aim to protect and preserve local traditional culture.
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For media enquiry, please contact: Corporate Communications Branch of TWGHs
Officiating guests including Ms Kathleen GAN, Group General Manager, Chief Finance Officer, Asia Pacific, HSBC (center); Ms SHUM Siu Fong, Chairperson, Hong Kong Special Schools Council (second left); Professor SIN Kuen Fung, Director, Centre for Special Educational Needs and Inclusive Education, The Education University of Hong Kong (third right); and Project Steering Committee Members kick start the opening ceremony of Robot Theatre, which showcases sharing from more than 10 special schools between 12 and 14 December. They will share about how robots have been assisting learning and teaching in their schools.
A Certificate of Appreciation is presented to Principal HO (left) and Mr LAI (Centre) from Hong Chi Morningjoy School, Yuen Long by Ms Kathleen GAN, Group General Manager, Chief Finance Officer, Asia Pacific, HSBC (Right). Mr Lai also shares his experience in Learning Circle Sessions and designing learning packages for his students in Robot Theatre.
A group photo of Ms Kathleen GAN, Group General Manager, Chief Finance Officer, Asia Pacific, HSBC (center) and representatives from TWGHs Kwan Fong Kai Chi School, Hong Kong Special Schools Council, Centre for Special Educational Needs and Inclusive Education, The Education University of Hong Kong, and Institute of Professional Education And Knowledge.