Speech by Mrs Marion LAI CHAN Chi-kuen, JP
Permanent Secretary for Education
at the 2015/16 Graduation cum
School History Room Opening Ceremony of P ui Kiu College
on 28 May 2016 (Saturday)
Mr Tsang (the Supervisor), Mr Wu (the Principal), distinguished guests, parents, teachers and students,
It is my great honour to be invited to this graduation ceremony which marks the tenth anniversary of Pui Kiu College. On this joyous occasion, may I extend my warmest congratulations to the school for its remarkable achievements over the past decade. I would also like to congratulate today’s graduates on their accomplishment of reaching a major milestone in learning.
2. Striving to provide 12 years of comprehensive and coherent learning experiences for its students, Pui Kiu College has remained committed to the school mission of nurturing brilliant generations with global perspective and passion for the nation. Its curriculum is holistically designed from primary to secondary levels to develop students as all-round individuals with biliterate and trilingual abilities, and above all, a thorough understanding of the cultures of the East and West. Both teachers and parents are very proud of Pui Kiu students, not only because of their good academic results, but also for their praiseworthy performance in extra-curricular activities. I am pleased to learn that over the years, students of the College have participated actively in community services and won numerous awards in various open competitions, such as Hong Kong Schools Music Festival, Hong Kong Schools Speech Festival and Hong Kong School Drama Festival. No wonder Pui Kiu College has become one of the prestigious and popular schools in Hong Kong.
3. Today is also the grand opening of the School History Room of Pui Kiu College. There, one can recall all the memorable moments and achievements of the school in the past ten years. Just now when I was taking a look at the exhibits, an old saying came to my mind –“It takes ten years to grow a tree, but a hundred years to train a man”. It is so true that nurturing a generation of youngsters and imparting into them knowledge, wisdom and the passion for life may take a very long time. I must express my heartfelt thanks to the sponsoring body, school managers, as well as the principal and teaching staff of the College for their dedicated efforts in offering quality education to students throughout the years.
4. The world is changing at an unprecedented pace as knowledge grows exponentially. To unleash the potentials of the younger generations, our education system aims to provide students with all-round and balanced learning opportunities to acquire knowledge effectively, apply what they have learnt and contribute to Hong Kong and the country. Primary and secondary education is an important learning stage for students to accumulate knowledge, develop personal character and acquire the skills for challenges ahead. With the implementation of the New Academic Structure, we have been providing multiple study and articulation pathways to cater for the diverse needs of students. In recent years, the Government has also rendered strengthened support to secondary schools in life planning education and career guidance services in a bid to help young people better understand themselves and plan for their future. With all these initiatives and support measures, we hope that our young people are better equipped to pursue their personal goals and rise to challenges brought by the rapid growth of technology and globalisation of economy in the twenty-first century.
5. Thanks to its unique location and historical background, Hong Kong is a melting pot of Eastern and Western cultures. Here, different religions are practised and various ethnic groups live together in harmony. The “Belt and Road” initiative of our country is a trans-national and multi-disciplinary strategy with deep impact. Hong Kong is well positioned to support this strategy and play a pivotal role in various ways. On the education front, we can redouble our efforts to develop the proficiency of our secondary students in biliterate and trilingual communication. Also, we have been encouraging schools to incorporate contents about the “Belt and Road” countries and regions into relevant subject curricula and student activities. I am glad to note that the current curriculum of Pui Kiu College, such as General Studies at the primary level and Liberal Studies at the secondary level, already offers learning opportunities for students to gain a basic understanding of the “Belt and Road” initiative. I am sure that through different learning experiences, students can have a good grasp of its implication for the present day and its importance for the future development of Hong Kong, in particular, the ample opportunities that emerge with it.
6. Dear graduates, graduation day is an occasion to celebrate success and look to the future. I have every confidence in your prospect because the solid foundation that you have built in Pui Kiu College will enable you to overcome the obstacles and challenges ahead. No matter what lies in store for you, you must have courage and faith, and think positive when pursuing your dreams. I would like to share with you a famous quote from Winston Churchill: “Success is not final, failure is not fatal. It is the courage to continue that counts.” Some of you may have sailed with ease through years of academic assessment, while others may have struggled all the way since the first day at school. But to the principal and teachers, family and friends, to me and to the society, you belong to our pool of young talents, destined for a fulfilling journey ahead, no matter what paths you choose to take.
7. On this memorable day, do thank your parents for their caring guidance and unfailing support throughout these years. The role they play has indeed contributed a great deal to your achievements today. I am sure that they will continue to stand by you, and offer the encouragement and support you need as you progress to the next stage of life.
8. The tenth anniversary is a significant milestone in the development of a school. I am confident that Pui Kiu College will build on its strengths and continue to flourish in the next decade. May I wish the College all the best in the years to come and all of you good health and happiness. Thank you.