HONG KONG SAR - Media OutReach - 20 October 2021 - The pandemic has brought significant changes to the local education sector, challenging the ways we teach and learn. Since the school lockdown in February 2020, schools have evolved and relied more on education technology and digital resources to keep up with the pace of learning. Oxford University Press (China) (OUP), as a leading publisher, has put in extra efforts to support teachers' changing needs and respond to the unpredencented challenges.
Today, Oxford University Press (China) announced the findings and insights of the "Are Teachers and Students Ready for Future of Education?" survey. (From left to right) Ms. Mei Mei Ng, Managing Director of Oxford University Press (China), Mr. Chu Wai Lam, Principal of Fung Kai No.1 Primary School, Ms Jenny LEUNG Head of 21st Century Learning Design Tai Kwong Hilary College, Mr. Albert Wong, Chairman, Association of IT Leaders in Education (AiTLE) and Ms. Masian Leung, Corporate Marketing Director of Oxford University Press (China) shared their responses to the findings and how they tackled the challenges of future education.
OUP furthers its supports to future-proof teaching and learning by hosting the Education Leadership Forum on 5 and 6 November which will gather over 20 international and local thought leaders to share inspiring insights in 18 webinars on a dynamic series of topics about future education, pedagogies and best practices. This Forum is well informed and shaped by the survey titled "Are Teachers and Students Ready for Future of Education?" conducted in September 2021, capturing the views of nearly 400 teachers from kindergartens, primary and secondary schools on future learning challenges and opportunities.
The survey shows that teachers have been positive in embracing digital transformation and proactive in sharing recommendations to further improve support in teaching and learning. These are crucial considerations when it comes to empowering the education community to take the necessary steps and embrace the opportunities that blended learning offers.
Key finding No. 1: The pandemic has accelerated the use of agile teaching and learning practices, including digital and IT tools, as well as blended learning
The average frequency of using digital and IT tools in teaching has increased from 3.2 times (during pandemic) to 5.5 times (post-pandemic) per week among respondents. Meanwhile, the ratio of teaching in classroom to remote learning has jumped 30%:70% from 90%:10%. The application of digital and IT tools and blended learning is clearly trending, and nearly three quarters of teachers (73%) claimed that they feel ready for the challenges brought by future education. However, they expect to take 2.8 years on average for overall teachers in Hong Kong to become future-ready. Science and Mathematics teachers showed greater confidence than language teachers.
Respondents ranked the top three elements necessary to enable the Hong Kong teachers to become future-ready:
- Decreased workload to free up time to experiment new teaching approaches and education technology, exchange ideas and learn from peers (79%)
- Adaptable teaching resources that can support different models of teaching and learning, including remote, blended and traditional (72%)
- Flexible curriculums to accommodate different models of teaching and learning (67%)
Key finding No. 2: Teachers are positively embracing digital transformation for future education, but expect more support
Despite of the challenges faced by teachers during the pandemic, the survey indicates a positive sign. In the post-pandemic era, confidence in teaching in the "new normal" has jumped from 59% to 80%. Besides, the teachers shared that the level of support in teaching after the pandemic has become more adequate that the satisfaction level has increased from 48% during the pandemic to 64%.
As the pandemic has evolved, teachers have shifted their priorities from essential items to support with more sustaining and forward-looking impacts, like more digital teaching resources from publishers (84%) and additional manpower to identify teaching resources (67%). The findings indicates that quality online education resources offered by publishers remains the major and most reliable resort for teachers as the pandemic evolves, reflecting a recognition of the publishing industry's committed efforts in offering quality teaching resources to support teaching and learning.
Meanwhile, it is encouraging also to see teachers appreciating the benefits of leveraging digital and IT tools to tackle challenges in future education.
- 88% are happy to have upskilled themselves in response to evolving learning needs
- Blended learning makes teaching models and content more dynamic (84%)
- 81% are positive about E-assessment tools which consolidate learning data, helping to address learning differences and enhance effectiveness of teaching and learning
- More dynamic teaching models increase the level of student engagement (78%)
- Teaching models and pedagogies can help address the needs of future education (65%)
Key finding No. 3: Time for the education sector to step forward and understand the needs and capabilities of both teachers and students, as well as embracing the effectiveness and opportunities brought by blended learning
As the end of the pandemic approaches, there has been a drop in use of digital tools from 76% to 62%. However, that figure still reflects the growing use of digital technology in education after the resumption of physical classes. While blended learning has now become an inevitable trend, the three key benefits of leveraging different teaching models and tools cited by teachers include:
- Wider variety of teaching content and activities, such as multi-media and interactive tools (6.4 points)
- Timely support to students, with consolidated learning data for evaluation and follow-up (5.8 points)
- Higher flexibility in curriculum design (5.7 points)
Apart from benefits, they also pointed out some drawbacks, including workload in class preparation (6.9 points) and class management more challenging (6.6 points).
Nevertheless, more than two-thirds of teachers (71%) believe that students are ready for future education but strengthened training of soft skills will be the key to make the most of new ways of learning and working. The top skills named were communication skills (75%), analytical ability (68%), agility (68%), adaptability (67%), followed by collaboration and team spirit (67%).
OUP facilitates future-readiness with holistic support
OUP and its professional teams have strived to proactively provide quality teaching resources and support to schools, teachers, students and parents in the hope of ensuring they all become more future-ready.
"Since its inception 60 years ago, Oxford University Press (China) has been committed to furthering the University's objective of excellence in scholarship and education with quality publishing for schools and the general public. Today, we are deploying our resources to support learning, teaching and research to make a significant and sustainable difference," said Mei-mei Ng, Managing Director of Oxford University Press (China).
"As a close partner of the education sector, we fully understand the pressing needs faced by the community. We see ourselves not only a university publisher, but as a stakeholder with strong connections to everyone in the education ecosystem. It is fulfilling to witness how positively the entire education community has reacted to unprecedented changes with innovation, resilience and agility. Not to mention how much they appreciate the support offered by the publishing sector," she added.
"Looking forward, we hope to work hand-in-hand to transform our expertise in teaching resources to enable more effective teaching and learning. In the Education Leadership Forum, which forms part of Oxford University Press China's 60th Anniversary, education thought leaders will be invited to exchange their insights on the latest education trends. The goal is to inspire innovative ideas and spark actions for the future readiness," she concluded.
Topics of the two-day Education Leadership Forum are tailored for educators from kindergartens to secondary schools, covering latest education trends, for instance, "The Strategic Priorities to Support Local Schools to Become Future-ready" and "Leading School and System Change in Post-Pandemic Time", as well as subject-specific topics for Chinese Language, English Language, Mathematics, Science and Music.
The Education Leadership Forum cum Oxford University Press China's 60th Anniversary is now open for educators to enrol for free. Please register at:
 February 2020 – August 2021
 After school started in September 2021