Speech by Mr Raymond H C Wong, JP
Permanent Secretary for Education
at the Official Opening of
Marymount New School Building cum 80th Anniversary Open Day
________Friday, 6 July 2007________
Dr Hui, Principal Ma, Distinguished Guests, Teachers, Parents and Students,
Thank you for inviting me to join you here today and to share with you this joyous moment of the opening of Marymount’s new school building cum official launching of the 80th Anniversary celebrations. This memorable occasion will allow Marymount to look back on its past achievements and at the same time open a new building for its future success.
The new building block provides new facilities and a much improved learning environment for students of Marymount. I can imagine how excited teachers and students will be as they move into it. Educators are increasingly aware of the interaction between physical spaces and learning environment. Modern facilities improve not only the school’s physical environment but also its learning culture. But the building alone cannot infuse the vision and passion that guide the school’s development. It is the human spirit and interaction between teachers and students which will make the difference and ensure the new building supports higher levels of learning.
Marymount School , which started as Holy Spirit School at Robinson Road in 1927, is devoted to developing its girls into young women of wisdom who are committed to pursuing excellence. Over eighty years of history in Hong Kong , Marymount has maintained her cherished culture of trust and respect for the individual, characterized by a strong sense of identity and community. The school has been witness to the rise of the city and contributed to Hong Kong ’s success by grooming generations of all-rounded and civic-minded women, many of whom have become distinguished leaders in our community. This can only have been due to the excellent leadership of the School Management Committee, the dedication of the principal and teachers and the support of parents.
We have an increasing understanding that education is a life-long pursuit for all our young people. With the rapid development of science and technology, the world is now facing complex problems that we have never faced before. Global, community and individual efforts are required to find new solutions . To cope with changes, and to ensure changes help develop our society, our young generation has to understand these complex problems, to be highly knowledgeable, to be able to work collaboratively and in teams, and to be capable of exercising moral judgment and to take a global perspective.
To prepare our young people to meet future challenges, our education system, just as in many other places, has been undergoing wide-ranging reforms, with increasing urgency over the last decade. With the efforts of all dedicated educators including those who are present today, we are delighted to see positive changes in our primary and secondary schools. The implementation of the New Senior Secondary and Higher Education Academic Structure in the coming years will be a landmark in the history of education in Hong Kong . The S1 students at Marymount will be the first cohort to benefit from these changes. I have confidence that together we can make this reform a success. Our students will acquire a broad knowledge base, be strong in languages and mathematics, be able to understand contemporary issues and be informed and responsible citizens with a sense of national and global identity.
Marymount is always in the forefront of providing quality education and takes the lead to try new initiatives, while at the same time upholding its fine tradition. The new building will be the place where Marymount students will build their capacities and their aspirations with the support of their teachers. So today marks another milestone in the development of Marymount. This is a day of hope for the future, interwoven with good memories of the old days. This is a potent mix which will ensure Marymount continues to develop our community’s leaders for tomorrow.
On again, congratulations to all and I wish everyone an unforgettable day.