4 October 2018
Dear Parents and Students,
Last Saturday, I attended the Principals’ Session of "InnoTech Expo 2018". The speakers talked about the speedy development of technology in Chinese companies, such as Alibaba and Tencent. Taking the Greater Bay Area into consideration, how can we equip the next generation to ensure Hong Kong maintains her competitiveness, while not being marginalized? The effects of current social values have resulted in secondary and higher education becoming very market-oriented. The subjects chosen are often directly related to future work, as parents and students pursue a certain quality of life. In recent years, most of the elite students in HKDSE have chosen to study medicine, global business and law, or to work as a doctor, lawyer, accountant or civic servant. In the future, it will be even rarer for Hong Kong to produce science professionals such as Professor Charles Kuen Kao, the father of optical fiber.
In a diverse society, the role of a school is to nurture different talents to lead and develop our society. However, too much emphasis is placed on the HKDSE, so students only pay attention to the curriculum content and exam skills, without the experiencing the enjoyment of learning something outside of the curriculum. Pooi To has always been committed to providing other learning experiences in different subjects, and extending their exposure towards new things, new knowledge and new challenges, so as to explore and develop their interests and potential, or even their pursuit of dreams. Parents' support and recognition of their daughters is very important. I am sure that supportive home-school cooperation can nurture our students’ strengths and enhance their self-regulated learning, social skills, problem-solving and creative thinking skills to face new challenges in the future.
Recently, the Vice Principal and I interviewed S6 candidates for the Sir Edward Youde Memorial Fund High School Student Award. I was impressed by a student who shared her views on lifelong learning. She believes that in terms of knowledge, she must be lifelong learner, and she appreciates that the school offers different learning opportunities for her to learn different skills and moral values. She feels that when she works in society, she still has to learn to be:
- "Responsible" - She explained that when she is now at school, there are always reminders and guidance from teachers and students. However, in society, as an adult, she is responsible for her own words and actions, and even shoulders legal responsibilities, so she must hold firmly her own moral baseline. I fully agree with what the Bible says: "Do everything without grumbling or arguing, 15 so that you may become blameless and pure, children of God without fault in a warped and crooked generation. Then you will shine among them like stars in the sky 16 as you hold firmly to the word of life. And then I will be able to boast on the day of Christ that I did not run or labor in vain” Philippians 2:14-16. A lot of controversial issues in society are not black or white. In most circumstances, they are grey. If you don't have a firm moral standard, you will only be manipulated by others. With this in mind, being a Christian is a blessing, because the Bible clearly teaches us to keep a moral standard, without arguments and complaints. As long as we follow the teachings of Christ, we can separate ourselves from the values of the world.
- "Patient" - She explained that in the school, we are taught to be patient, but the teachers and students give her extra tolerance and acceptance, so she is still self-centred. But in society, it is more necessary to learn to be patient. Most work is initially assigned to the junior position in the office. Even if she feels some tasks are not her duty, she will change her view to see it is an opportunity for training herself and learning more about the job. I really appreciate her positive attitude of towards patience. In life, there is always something you like to do, but there is a bigger part that you don't like to do. What attitude should you face? Suffering? Complaining? Or as she said, shifting the point of view as a matter of doing things. She has learned to see the benefits over the drawbacks. The Bible says: " 3 Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; 4 perseverance, character; and character, hope. 5 And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us” Romans 5:3-5. When encountering a bottleneck in life, there is no immediate leap. Even if the situation has not changed, the way to see the situation can be changed. If the emotion is put aside and the mentality is adjusted, the situation can be turned into hope. I hope that we can really learn in God and let our hearts receive greater blessings and help from Him.
After listening to the students who will soon leave Pooi To and start their new chapter, I was impressed. I saw that each student was a mature lady that can look at things from different perspectives, is willing to be a life-long learner, can work harmoniously, has strong problem solving skills and has a positive mind. They demonstrate our school motto “Love, Integrity, Purity and Perseverance” and believe that they can face new challenges in the future.