Children and Adolescents at Risk Education project wins Outstanding Project Award

Scarlett Leung

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The Project C.A.R.E (Children and Adolescents at Risk Education), directed by Dr Annis Fung Lai-chu,

Assistant Professor of Department of Applied Social Studies at City University of Hong Kong (CityU), has won a coveted education award.

The project, which focused on schoolyard bullying, won the Outstanding Project Award presented at the Quality Education Fund (QEF) Projects Exposition 2008 Opening Ceremony today (9 May).

The QEF, which is celebrating its 10th anniversary, was established to finance projects for the promotion of quality education in Hong Kong. The QEF Steering Committee named 20 Outstanding Projects from more than 7,000 recipients of their funding.

The winning CityU project obtained funding of more than HK$4 million to be distributed over three years. Targeting secondary school students, the project adopted scientific, evidence-based research to examine the behaviour and needs of both the aggressors and victims of bullying.

Dr Fung said the recognition highlighted the University’s excellence in applied research and, on a personal level, served as a spur to pursue further research that benefited the community.

Dr Fung was sought to clarify the common misunderstanding between violence and bullying, stating that the concepts of bully and victim were usually over-simplified. She said that in order to redress the problem, it was necessary to identify the different types of perpetrator and victim. Her project also focused on enhancing the counselling skills of teachers and social workers, as well as the communication abilities of parents, to eliminate bullying from schools.

The project will be implemented in 30 secondary schools. In the 20 schools that have adopted the project so far, the results have been impressive. After receiving therapy, the recidivism of bullies was reduced by an estimated 40%. An index measuring victims’ anxiety levels showed a drop of between 20% and 40% for different categories of victim.

“I hope to introduce the service to more primary and secondary schools so that more students can enjoy a bully-free school life,” Dr Fung said.

The project is now being exhibited at the All-round Education section of the exposition. Dr Fung will be presenting the project to the public from 2pm to 3pm on 11 May.

QEF was established with an allocation of HK$5 million to provide an effective funding channel for worthwhile projects from the school education sector. The QEF mainly caters for worthwhile non-profit-making initiatives within pre-primary, primary, secondary and special education.

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