"We will fully subsidize students in public secondary schools, including senior secondary education," HKSAR Chief Executive Donald said, when delivering lecture at the legislative council, the first policy address since his re-election in March 2007.
Hong Kong has been providing nine-year free education through public primary and secondary schools. Some people consider this should extend to senior secondary forms.
Tsang said the offer of 12-year free education demonstrates the government's steadfast commitment to education and the nurturing of our next generation.
"For students under the new three-year senior secondary education structure starting from the 2009-10 school year, we will provide 12-year free education. For those secondary students under the existing structure, we will provide 13-year free education," he said.
Some form-three school-leavers in Hong Kong have chosen to enrol in full-time subsidized courses provided by the Vocational Training Council instead of pursuing senior secondary education.
Tsang said that starting from the 2008-09 school year, the government would fully subsidize these courses to provide an alternative free avenue for senior secondary students to further their studies other than in mainstream education.