Improving the Effectiveness of Career and Life Planning Education

Youth I.D.E.A.S. 38

Education and Innovation

Improving the Effectiveness of Career and Life Planning Education

30 January, 2019



According to The HKSAR Government: “Life Planning is an on-going and lifelong process for personal fulfilment…At the schooling stage, life planning education…is not merely…when they are in need of making subject or career choice”[1].


Therefore, Life Planning Education and Career Guidance (CLP education) ought to play a significant role in fostering a student’s “…self-understanding, personal planning” and “…goal setting”.


The Government announced in 2014 that mandatory CLP education in the senior secondary stage, would begin at the start of the 2014-2015 academic year. To support the required preparation work, the government also announced that it would provide a grant to public sector schools of more than HK$500,000 to operate such classes commencing at the start of the same academic year.[2]


Outlined in ‘Guide on Life Planning Education and Career Guidance for Secondary Schools’ published later that year[3], the Education Bureau encouraged schools to adopt a ‘whole-school’ approach[4] to CLP education. This was intended to help students understand the concept of ‘Multiple Pathway’[5], and encourage them to make study/career decisions in accordance with their interests, abilities and orientations.


Five years have passed since the full-scale implementation of CLP education in the Secondary School curriculum. Yet, according to research, more than 41% of surveyed secondary school students only ‘[know] a little bit’ (26.4%) or ‘[know] nothing’ about Life Planning; 14.7% stated they ‘[had] nearly no idea’ about their life planning progress[6].


Furthermore, another research conducted in 2018 noted 39% of survey students had done nothing to prepare for their career pathway[7]. Both of these studies indicate room for improvement in the implementation of CLP education.


Secondary education is an important transitional stage for students. Well-implemented CLP education can help students understand their personal development, build up career prospects and life goals, and help smooth the transition from school to work.


Therefore, this research paper takes a two-fold approach: 1) review schools’ CLP education and implementation strategies (using the opinions of both students and schools); 2) propose possible measures to enhance the effectiveness of CLP education.



  1. The Education Bureau has encouraged schools to practice a ‘whole-school’ approach to CLP education. Despite this, teachers continued to participate in CLP education and related professional training remained to be in minority in schools.
  2. The heavy focus on further studies, as the most recommended post-secondary pathway, raises questions about delivering the ‘Multiple Pathway’ concept.
  3. Young people’s rating of current CLP education is lower than teachers’ self-evaluation.
  4. Notable differences could be observed from what schools were providing and what students expected to get.
  5. Teachers face major difficulties when tailor-making curriculum for CLP education.
  6. In spite of most young students perceiving parents as important life-planning stakeholders, schools disregard parents’ voices. In addition, parents lack understanding of and pay little attention to CLP education: both greatly limit CLP education.
  7. Non-governmental organizations (NGOs), alumnus and businesses are all important CLP education stakeholders. Full support and assistance from these entities is crucial for schools to better implement CLP education.



  1. Strengthen teacher skill sets to increase awareness of and attention to CLP education.
  2. Subsidize companies and organizations to encourage internships for secondary school students.
  3. Establish a new, designated CLP education team under the Education Bureau.
  4. Involving parents as a part of the CLP education team
  5. Starting a long-term, on-going research project after students receive CLP education, to evaluate its effectiveness.





[1] Education Bureau (2017). “What is Life Planning?”. Retrieved February 14, 2019, from

[2] The HKSAR Government (2014). Policy Address 2014. Paragraph 105.

[3] Career Guidance Section, School Development Division, Education Bureau (2014). Guide on Life Planning Education and Career Guidance for Secondary Schools (1st Edition).

[4] Which means all teaching stuff should be familiar with the concept of life planning, and participating in schools’ CLP education.

[5] Booklet 9 of the Secondary Education Curriculum Guide (2017) written by the Education Bureau, is named “Career and Life Planning – Multiple Pathways for All Students to Excel”

[6] 香港中文大學傳訊及公共關係處。2017年5月10日。〈有「程」‧有「趣」中大發表香港高中學生的生涯發展現況調查結果〉。

[7] On.cc東網。2018年1月20日。〈生涯規劃成效存疑 39%高中生無為前途準備〉。