Secretary for Education Eddie Ng did not earn the nickname “tourism chief” for nothing. He has undertaken at least 60 work trips – costing over HK$3 million – over the past five years, which is three times as many overseas visits as his predecessor.
Ex-secretary for the civil service Wong Wing-ping calls Ng’s travel record “unprecedented.”
Ng, who was a human resources professional before joining the government five years ago, is not popular among Hong Kong’s teachers. He is also the second least popular senior official, after Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying.
Ng said Monday that he felt “wronged” for being targeted for his travel record. Here, HKFP looks at Ng’s travels to see what he was up to during his official visits.
Tracing his trips, it appears that Ng is particularly interested in e-learning technology, innovation education, and encouraging Hong Kong students abroad to return to the city. Here are some of the highlights of Ng’s adventures:
June 2017, Myanmar: Ng draws a picture with students at the Yangon University of Education’s high school.
October 2016, China: Ng learns about Shanghai’s aviation technologies at Commercial Aircraft Corporation of China.
October 2016, USA: Ng visits the Microsoft Technology Centre in the Silicon Valley to learn about e-learning and innovation education.
He invites Hong Kong students and graduates in California to pursue a career in Hong Kong.
July 2015, USA: Ng attends the 67th World Organisation for Early Childhood Education in Washington DC.
July 2015, China: Ng meets Hong Kong students in Beijing to learn about their studies and daily life.
March 2015, Canada: Ng meets Hong Kong students in Vancouver and encourages them to return to Hong Kong.
January 2015, Malaysia: Ng visits the Medical Anatomy and Pathology E-learning Laboratory of Monash University.
November 2014, Switzerland: Ng visits Swisscom AG in Bern to learn about its apprenticeship programme.
November 2014, Germany: Ng visits the ASEA Brown Boveri Training Centre.
July 2014, China: Ng chats with students while travelling to Shanghai by high-speed train.
May 2014, Finland: Ng watches students in a storytelling class at the Sakarinmäki School in Helsinki.
He also watches a student do woodwork at Aalto University.
August 2013, Australia: Ng learns about teaching methods for students with intellectual disabilities near Melbourne.
July 2013, Singapore: Ng observes classes at Kidz Haven PCF Boon Lay Kindergarten in Singapore.
May 2013, South Korea: Ng looks at electronic equipment and observes an e-learning class at the Seoul Itaewon Elementary School.
He also observes a kindergarten class at the Ewha Womans University.
March 2013, Canada: Ng visits BlackBerry’s office at the University of Waterloo.
With a monthly salary of nearly HK$300,000 and many travel opportunities, the education chief position may be a dream job for many. But Ng has said he will retire after his term ends in June.