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#Supervisor’s Messages

 

End of Term Ceremony 2018-07-12

Speech by the supervisor


Mr. Chong, Principal Ho, Teachers, Students,

I have asked the school to show at the start of the ceremony a video on the volunteers who worked on the rescue of the 12 Thai boys and their coach. There are hundreds of them, from all walks of life, of many nationalities and religious beliefs. They worked day and night under treacherous conditions for 18 days, risking their lives, away from their families and comforts of home. Some have highly specialized skills such as cave diving, and some doing very tedious tasks of serving food or cleaning up the mud. They worked together selflessly out of love for 13 human beings, to prove to the world that courage, tenacity, unity, and faith will always prevail. The video is a most appropriate preface to what I would like to say today.

At this end of term celebration, I would like to share with you some recent observations I have on personal growth and development.

Of the nine prestigious Hong Kong Outstanding Students Award given to the territory’s high school students this year, six of them were to students from international schools, only 3 of them were from traditional secondary schools. The award organizer said that the awards are given to students who have broad knowledge of world affairs and noble aspirations to contribute to the betterment of society. The organizer want to emphasize to students that they should not be bogged down by the conventional thinking that only doctors, lawyers, bankers are professions worthy of pursuit, and obtaining personal wealth or glory to be their purposes in life.

In all honesty, I am not interested in training MFS to win the award. I am more concerned why some students can stand out above their peers in demonstrating broader and deeper vision of the world, better creativity and stronger conviction to serve society, and greater potential to excel in diverse pursuits in life’s marathon.

Why is broad knowledge of the world and aspiration important to high school students? In a survey done by the Chinese University’s Hong Kong Institute of Asia-Pacific Studies in 2016, it revealed that Hong Kong high school students generally lack knowledge of international affairs and therefore do not appreciate the need and advantages of learning from diverse cultures, nor able to develop aspirations with global visions. This result can also explain the findings of the Hong Kong Federation of Youth Groups’ study in 2017 - 13% of high school students said that they don’t have any dreams, 30% said that they don’t know or can’t describe their dreams, 56% said that they don’t have aspirations because they do not know their own ability or interest. 真係好似周星馳咁講,做人冇夢想,同做條咸魚有咩分別?

The above findings are very revealing to us as educators, parents and members of Hong Kong society. Students are our future. If students don’t have dreams, if they don’t see a vocation in contributing to the betterment of society, Hong Kong society as a whole will not have dreams; it will not grow and advance as it had done so before, i.e. Hong Kong will not have a future. We are asking ourselves, have we emphasized too much on knowledge based learning instead of encouraging more exploration of the world and more critical thinking?

What can the school do to help students learn more about the world around them, to have broader and self-giving aspirations, to grow and develop their potentials to the fullest? I hope that you do recognize that the school is indeed trying to do so. We are trying very hard to guide students to develop noble values, form gallant ideals and execute action plans for their attainment.

If you care to notice, there is a notice board at the tuck shop area posting daily cuttings from Catholic and local newspapers that the school has carefully picked out for you. Some of you told me that you have other means to learn about the news, the notice board postings are not attractive enough and are redundant. It is true that the electronic media is very efficient in sending out news online, but of the myriad of news reports you come across, how would you know what are the really important ones to note, and what good sense to make out of them? Or would the secular news agencies report as much on the latest developments of the Catholic Church as the Kung Kuo Po?

You should remember last October’s Maryknoll Month, when we dedicated the entire month to help you learn from the 100 years of benevolent work the Maryknoll Fathers did in China, Hong Kong and the world, to bear witness to the gospel by serving the poor, the sick and the needy.

You should remember that 2 weeks ago, we organized an experiential learning camp for interested students to experience and learn from the collaboration, planning and leadership needed to enjoy outdoor activities as a team.

You should remember that also 2 weeks ago, Jason Ip of International Committee of Red Cross came to speak to you about his work on humanitarian aid in war zones. I hope he has given you a glimpse of what the complex world out there looks like and how one person can contribute to peace in one corner of the globe.

The school is trying, and will continue to try new ways to help you advance yourselves on knowledge about the world, to develop critical thinking and form aspirations for personal growth and for the good of mankind.

But dear students, you will have to be a willing partner of this effort for it to be successful. You have to be as interested in the initiatives and motivated to learn from them as the teachers who painstakingly organized them. You would only benefit from them through active participation, contemplative reflections and interactive feedbacks. So please do read the newspaper cuttings, participate in extra-curricular activities with all your heart, and ponder and learn from your experiences.

During your summer holidays, you will have plenty of time to take stock of what you have done in the past and design what you may be able to do to find or pursue your dreams – aspirations to do things for passion, to help better the lives of those around you, rather than for money or personal prestige, or goals forced on you by someone else. Ask yourself how you would participate in the volunteering effort to save the Thai boys if you ever have the opportunity.

Remember, finding and holding on to your dreams is the first step toward success. Start doing so now.

May God’s peace and blessings be with you always.

#Supervisor’s Messages

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