S.K.H. Lam Woo Memorial Secondary School
35 th Annual Speech Day
on Friday, 7 December 2007
Speech by Mr Raymond H C Wong, JP
Permanent Secretary for Education
Mr Lee, Ms Leung, Distinguished Guests, Ladies and Gentlemen,
It gives me great pleasure to be with you this afternoon at the Annual Speech Day of S.K.H. Lam Woo Memorial Secondary School.
Graduation ceremonies are unique occasions. They are major milestones, for celebration of past achievements and marking the beginning of a new course one is to embark on. Life is never plain sailing, but I am sure we would all find our path through hard work and determination, and, in different positions, contribute to the betterment of Hong Kong .
You will agree with me that the betterment of Hong Kong is not measured only by economic accomplishments. Without an open, generous and caring community, Hong Kong will only be a place to live, but never our home. Education is therefore more than the impartation of knowledge and skills; it is also about the instillation of values and responsibility in our children.
So much weight this school has put on whole-person development, students are encouraged not only to strive for academic excellence, but also take an active role in the society as a responsible citizen. They are nurtured as all-rounders, with a passion for knowledge, an independent spirit to learn, and a commitment to serve the community. I note with special interest that students here call themselves “Lam Wooers” [林護人]. The name carries more than a sense of identity. Each letter of it stands for a unique quality or value, and together they reflect faithfully the school’s ethos. They are –
Indeed, I believe these are qualities and values treasured and shared by all in pursuit of quality education for our next generation. Here, I would like to talk more about the two “O’s , that is, “Originality” and “Optimism”.
As what has been fast unfolding before us, the world today is becoming a much smaller place. Geographical boundaries are no longer a genuine constraint as they were to the sharing of information. New technology holds out enormous promise for promoting education. So, even with skills and knowledge to advance, we will soon be outcompeted if we fail to improve ourselves. Originality is the key to continued improvement.
Picasso once said, “All children are artists.” I think the underlying message is “We all have a creative mind at a young age.” Picasso had offered originality the best interpretation. Young people are curious. They have the courage to question and challenge answers that may appear logical and sensible to adults. Come to learning, I hope our young people would remain creative, and feel no fear to challenge the orthodoxies of our time. Creativity arises only when one learns to perceive things from a different dimension. We count on you, boys and girls, and your generation to shape our world.
When you deviate from the known path in pursuit for your goals and dreams, remember to remain optimistic. Deviation from a common course is never easy. You are bound to be challenged. You will be frustrated. But you would appreciate that all challenges and frustrations are indeed pointing to you the road to success. So stay positive even when things look bleak.
Being optimistic does not necessarily mean that you should harbour unrealistic expectations. We all have our own capabilities and limitations. Get to know yourself, try your very best in your every attempt, and enjoy the process.
Ladies and gentlemen, before I close, I wish to congratulate the graduates today for their hard work and achievement. May I also extend my hearty congratulations to all teachers and parents, who for the past years, have been rendering support for the school and all its students with love and patience.
May God bless you all and be with you always. Thank you.