Richard Evans is the Chairman of the CIPHE’s Education and Training Group. In this issue, Richard covers the issues surrounding Information Technologies Communications (ITCs). Currently there is a great debate about the advantages and disadvantages of the ITCs particularly with retrieving information from the internet. I would like to explore some of the issues as they relate to education and in particular to teaching and learning. I fully accept that there are many advantages associated with such technologies. However it is essential that the disadvantages must be acknowledged and recognised by teachers and the learners. Evidence from a number of

Modularity in Building Houses: A Possible Revolution?

Richard Evans is the Chairman of the CIPHE’s Education and Training Group. In this issue, Richard covers the housing shortage and a possible solution in modular housing. As we all know, the problems associated with the acute shortage of housing in this country, particularly with social housing, continue. In spite of successive governments’ statements to address and resolve the situation, all have failed. Currently one consequence of this issue is the increasing number of homeless people. One possible solution that is being proposed is a greater move to manufactured modular houses. Interest is growing in this development as the advantages

The Chinese Zodiac

A fascinating topic. The Chinese Zodiac – Sheng(1) Xiao(4) is based on a twelve year cycle. Each year is represented by an animal. The table below shows the animals: Rat – Yhu(3). Ox – niu(2). Tiger – hu(3). Rabbit – yu(4)zi. Dragon – long(2), Snake – she(2). Horse – ma(3). Goat – yang(2). Monkey – hou(2). Rooster – ji(1). Dog – gou(3). Pig – zhu(1). Just as in other astrology, each of the Chinese animals represents a different personality types and a person’s general attributes and possible careers. Theories have been developed to predict one’s personality, fortune and major life

Chinese Money

The history of Chinese money is another fascinating topic covering a period of over 3000 years. The present currency is known as the people’s currency namely the re(2)min(2)bi(4). It assumed that the name since 1949 and is the legal tender on the Chinese mainland but not in Hong Kong and Macau.The special administrative regions of Hong Kong and Macau use the Hong Kong dollar and the Macanese pataca, respectively. The basic unit of the currency is the yuan(2)) which derives from yuan(2) which means round after the shape of the coins. One tenth of the yuan is often called a

Chinese Numbers

Chinese Numbers Today speakers of Chinese use three written numeric systems namely the Arabic numerals used worldwide and two indigenous systems. The most familiar indigenous one is based on Chinese characters that correspond to numerals in the spoken language. The second indigenous system is the Su(1)zhou(1) or hua(1)ma(3) – literally meaning picture number which is based on the rod system (see later). Today the hua(1)ma(3) system is only used for showing prices in Chinese markets or on traditional invoices. Chinese people are fascinated by numbers and wherever you go in the country there are numbers everywhere and not just in


One of the topics discussed at a recent meeting of the Education Training Group (ETG) was Assessment of Prior Learning (APL). It arose from discussions on the important issue of recognising experienced workers who have (for many reasons) not gained formal qualifications. These individuals represent a significant part of the plumbing profession, and as a result play an essential role in professional application of their skills and knowledge in the services they provide to their employers and the public. They have gained this expertise over many years. Many would have been apprentices and entered employment some years ago when entry to

Chinese Food

“To the people, food is foremost” “To the ruler, people are heaven; to the people, food is heaven”. “Every home must have firewood, rice, oil, salt, soy sauce, vinegar and tea”. “Food is the first necessity”. Confucius. Above are four classic sayings about the importance of food in the Chinese culture. Food is embedded in the Chinese culture and many philosophers, emperors and writers have extolled the importance of food as an indispensable part of Chinese life. The preoccupation with food is reflected in the spoken language, for example one of the most commonly heard questions to begin a discussion


Among the critical and pivotal elements in tackling the major and continuing challenges to improve skills and increase productivity, are the persistent problems associated in mathematical capability. Low levels of numeracy and functional numeracy including among adults who wish to enter employment continue to be a problem. These problems have been highlighted over many decades by innumerable commissions, reports and research papers. A multitude of causes have been identified including: • Gender issues • Low levels of motivation • Bad previous learning/teaching experiences • The perception amongst learners that mathematics is intrinsically difficult • The impact of negative parental, societal

Chinese Languages

Introduction The word’s languages are all thought to belong to five major language families namely Indo- European, Sino-Tibetan, Niger-Congo, Afro-Asiatic and Austonesian. Chinese in one form or another, is spoken by more people worldwide than any other language. It is the world’s oldest language still in use and its cultural history can be traced back over 3,500 years. It is a fascinating and at times a complex topic and I hope I can do justice to the subject in this short account. There are scores of Chinese dialects, and although many are related sound so different that a speaker of


Richard Evans is the Chairman of the CIPHE’s Education and Training Group. In this issue of ETM he muses on the importance of Continuing Professional Development (CPD) Continuing Professional Development (CPD) is even more important now as the country begins to tackle its skills gaps and shortages, plus the continuing low levels of productivity in manufacturing and industrial activity. The Chartered Institute of Plumbing and Heating Engineering has recently published a timely and excellent charter on CPD. The CIPHE have set an excellent example and lead the way for other professional bodies, employers and education and training organisations on this