Grand Opening Ceremony of Stewards Pooi Kei College
3 December 2005
Speech by Professor Arthur K C Li
Secretary for Education and Manpower
Dr Timothy TEOH, Dr Philemon CHOI, Distinguished Guests, Ladies and Gentlemen:
I am delighted to be here today to celebrate with you the opening of Stewards Pooi Kei College .
Contrary to newspaper reports, I find opening schools is certainly much more pleasant and agreeable than closing schools.
When the Government supports the opening of new schools, we have at least 3 considerations, viz the school sponsoring body, the type of school and, most importantly, the type of education that students will receive in the school.
In the present case, your school sponsoring body Stewards Limited has been providing quality education in Hong Kong for more than 40 years. It has now taken a big step forward in establishing Stewards Pooi Kei College . We have every confidence that the School Sponsor will, through the College, continue to uphold its mission in serving the community.
As to the type of school, this is a non-profit making private school under the Direct Subsidy Scheme. The purpose of the Direct Subsidy Scheme is to inject diversity into the education system: parents will have more choice; and so will schools, in terms of determining the curriculum and instructional languages, and the administration of human resources.
Schools under the Direct Subsidy Scheme therefore enjoy more flexibility and greater autonomy in pursuit of their visions and missions. In this regard, Stewards Pooi Kei College has the flexibility to deploy resources and design a curriculum that suits students’ needs. We can therefore see in the College a convergence of elite teachers and curriculum experts, a coherent curriculum taught through the English medium, a multifaceted English Language Programme, and a wide exposure to intercultural awareness and international perspectives. Students here will enjoy extra facilities such as a Student Activity Centre, a well-equipped Student Self-Access Learning Centre and a Theatre for Performing Arts.
What type of education, then, do we expect the College to provide? We hope that students here will have balanced development in the domains of ethics, intellect, physique, social skills, aesthetics and spirituality. We hope that students here will excel in academic pursuits and acquire value-based knowledge. We hope that students here will make continuous efforts to learn, to think, to explore, to be creative and to respond to changes. We hope they will grow through joy, and be well-prepared for university education and beyond, as self-directed learners and responsible citizens.
After all, this is the challenge for education in the 21st Century – an all round education for all. I can envisage Stewards Pooi Kei College rising to the challenges and continuing to develop and excel in the new era, creating a better future for our future generations.
Finally, I would like to thank Dr Teoh for inviting me to this happy occasion. I wish you all immense success in your future pursuits, together with happiness and good health.