Frequently Asked Questions (for Primary Schools)
A1: The Government implements the Know-IT Programme in the 2021/22 school year. It aims to stimulate primary school students’ interest in IT, strengthen their basic IT knowledge through extra-curricular activities (ECAs), thereby enhancing their interest to pursue the study of STEM subjects and preparing them for integration into the digital society in the future.
A2: Schools should organise IT-related ECAs and procure the IT equipment and professional services required for organising such activities, such as robotics and artificial intelligence workshops, participation in IT-related competitions and visits to IT companies, etc. Solely purchasing hardware and software does not meet the programme objective. The hardware and software to be purchased must be IT equipment that are necessary for organising related activities. When designing the activities, please make sure the learning objectives attribute to the learning of IT knowledge, theory and/or relevant practical skills involving exercising knowledge and practice of the IT, instead of the perspective of merely an IT user or making use of IT in teaching.
Eligibility of Applicants
A3: The applicant must be a publicly-funded primary school, including government, aided (including special schools), and Direct Subsidy Scheme (DSS) primary schools.
A4: The funding scope of the Know-IT Programme comprises the following two parts－
- one-off grant (max $200,000): for meeting upfront expenditure on hardware, software, equipment (such as cloud servers and storage services) which is required for organising IT-related ECAs; and
- operating grant: for meeting expenditure on professional services, operating services and technical support services, etc. for IT-related ECAs. It is used mainly for organising school-based ECAs, such as robotics and artificial intelligence workshops, participation in IT-related competitions and visits to IT companies, etc.
- non-local study tours;
- teachers' training;
- use of IT in supporting general teaching and learning; and
- promotion materials (e.g. souvenirs, prizes, printing service for promotion, professional service for event website development, etc.).
A5: The funding under this programme can only be used to organise IT-related ECAs and procure IT equipment and related services which are necessary and directly related to the proposed IT-related activities. Please note that the funding for the procurement of IT equipment and related services should not be more than $200,000 during the entire programme period. Schools should provide clear and concrete justifications on any expenditure in procuring IT equipment and related services, and explain why such expenditure is required for the proposed IT-related activities. Schools should also provide specific plans on how to fully utilise the IT equipment and related services (such as organising more IT-related activities) within the scope of the Know-IT Programme.
A6: For procurement of goods and services, participating schools are required to follow proper procurement, accounting and financial control procedures as set out in the EDB Circular No. 4/2013, the School Administration Guide, the Stores and Procurement Regulations and other relevant guidelines, as revised from time to time. Participating schools should also make reference to the “Best Practice Checklist on Procurement” issued by the Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC).
A7: For effective use of the funding of “Knowing More About IT Programme”, participating schools adopt cloud services, including cloud server and storage service, which are more agile, flexible and cost-effective, and helps reduce the amount of maintenance work required for schools.
A8: In general, ECAs should take place outside regular lesson time. Nevertheless, schools may flexibly conduct ECAs at the most suitable time according to their current practice to suit their teaching needs and students’ learning needs.
A9: The Know-IT Programme is a 3-year programme, and participating primary schools can apply for a maximum funding of $400,000. Every participating school can submit one or more applications during a single school year, and host as many activities as they can. They are required to submit the Annual Report and Financial Report for the previous school year (by August the latest) before they can submit a new proposal in the subsequent school year.
A10: The programme will be open for application from 1 September 2021.
A11: Schools are welcome to submit joint applications. They can submit application forms signed by individual principals and indicate the activities to be organised jointly at the columns of activity titles / descriptions on the application form. OGCIO will vet the related applications together but the approval is based on individual schools with a maximum funding of $400,000.
A12: According to Clause 45 of the Application Guidelines, expenses arising from any procurement or activities conducted before the approval of the application will not be subsidised. As such, participating schools shall organise the ECAs concerned or procure equipment or services only after the funding has been approved. This is to avoid causing any extra financial burden to schools in case the funding cannot be approved as originally planned. Besides, since the actual approval period will be subject to factors such as the completeness of information provided in the application by schools, the number of applications received and the meeting dates of the Vetting Committee, schools should allow sufficient buffer time between application submission and the organisation date of the ECAs concerned.
A13: It is advisable for participating schools to plan in advance for opening a bank account in order to allow sufficient time for completing the required procedures. The account opening arrangements and documentation requirements for opening a bank account (such as the school registration documents, the relevant minutes of meetings and the identification documents of the authorised persons of the bank account) may vary from bank to bank. Participating schools may refer to the list of retail banks and virtual banks in Hong Kong and their documentation requirements for opening accounts provided by the Hong Kong Monetary Authority. Please refer to the web page below for details:
A14: According to the guidelines issued by ICAC, participating schools should open a dedicated bank account to handle the funding under the programme. If a school encounters difficulties in opening a bank account, it may propose an alternative in lieu of this arrangement to OGCIO with reasons and justifications, which should cover how it will strengthen its internal financial management, for instance, by using an existing dormant bank account which bears the school name and has been inactive for 6 months or more, stepping up its financial management of the separate ledger account through a computerised accounting system, and providing half-yearly financial reports, etc. OGCIO will take the school’s proposal into consideration based on the information the school submitted and reserve the right to conduct school visits for ensuring that the funding is properly used in compliance with the objectives and requirements of the programme.
A15: According to Clauses 96 and 97 of the Application Guidelines, any unspent balance (including interest, if any) shall be returned to OGCIO upon completion of the programme or early termination of the school project.
Schools must purchase the IT equipment and related services required for organising activities in accordance with the approved application. For any major revision of the approved budget, schools should submit a change request form to the One-Stop Support Centre. Schools are reminded not to procure any equipment/services with the unspent balance before the change request is approved. For details about the change request, please refer to Clauses 42 and 43 of the Application Guidelines.
Submission of a new application is required if a school plans to use the unspent balance to organise other IT extra-curricular activities.
A16: The Civil Aviation Department (CAD) has introduced a new Small Unmanned Aircraft Order (SUA Order) which is a new subsidiary legislation made under the Civil Aviation Ordinance (Cap. 448) and has come into effect on 1 June 2022. This new order is to foster the innovative development and application of SUA or drones in Hong Kong in tandem with evolving technology while safeguarding aviation and public safety. Under the new regulatory regime, SUA operations will be regulated under a risk-based approach and classified according to the weight of the SUA and the operational risk level. SUA operations of different risk levels will be subject to the corresponding regulatory requirements. These requirements may include registration and labelling of SUA, registration of remote pilots, training and assessment, equipment, operating requirements and insurance.
To facilitate sustainable development of SUA, flight operation for educational or research purposes is subject to the limited application of the new law. Requirements such as remote pilot registration, training and assessment, as well as equipment, insurance and most of operating requirements are not applicable. However, the SUA concerned must fulfill the registration and labelling requirements, and be operated wholly within the school premises of a specified school. For details, please refer to the Safety Requirements Document and SUA Advisory Circular AC-009, Guidelines for Small Unmanned Aircraft Operations within School Premises at https://www.cad.gov.hk/english/sua_new.html.
The CAD has launched the Electronic Portal for Small Unmanned Aircraft (eSUA). Schools may access the eSUA, or find the links at https://esua.cad.gov.hk to register or obtain the latest SUA Drone Map and other safety information.