The Student of the Year 2014 Awards Ceremony
28 February 2015 (Sat)
Speech for SED
Mr Robin Hu, Winfried (Engelbrecht-Bresges), Advisory Board members, honourable judges, parents, principals, teachers, finalists, students, ladies and gentlemen,
It is my great pleasure to share with all of you here the joy and achievements of our outstanding young talents at the Student of the Year Awards Ceremony.
The Student of the Year Awards is an annual event widely recognised and warmly welcomed by schools. Thanks to the generous support from the Hong Kong Jockey Club, the Awards, after running for 32 consecutive years from 1974 to 2006, were reinstated in 2013. In its 34th year now, the Awards have been expanded to seven categories, recognising students who have not only excelled in their academic pursuits but also developed all-round skills and attained remarkable achievements in the domains they have a strong passion for or are talented at. Among the winners, some are outstanding at sports, visual arts and performing arts; some excel in languages, science and mathematics, while some are very much dedicated to serving our community.
All the finalists sitting here have gone through stringent preliminary rounds of selection based on a set of comprehensive assessment criteria. Apart from an illustrious track record of academic and non-academic achievements, we look for qualities of an active learner such as independent and reflective thinking, initiative and creativity; we look for signs of a responsible citizen such as positive values, public spirit and commitment; we also look for attributes of a capable leader such as vision, confidence and collaborative skills. Regardless of their talents and interests, the selected ones have something in common – they are the role models for our younger generation, and above all, they are Hong Kong’s young leaders of tomorrow.
Our gratitude goes to the parents, principals and teachers for the concerted efforts and support in enhancing the whole-person development of the young talents here today, in grooming them for future leadership, and most of all, in raising these fine young persons with a benevolent mind and caring heart. I would also like to acknowledge the hard work of our experienced, professional and knowledgeable judges who have worked hard for months and finally made the difficult decision to select “the best of the best”.
Every young talent in this ceremony is telling us our efforts in implementing a series of changes to our education system and curriculum over the past decade, particularly the New Senior Secondary Curriculum launched in 2009, are bearing fruit. They provide the evidence of the accomplishments of our education to foster whole-person development, enhance life-long learning capabilities and more importantly, nurture positive values and attitudes towards life and society among students, enabling each to attain all-round development and achievements in various domains according to their own attributes. Through a broad and balanced curriculum, students are offered ample opportunities and choices, diverse life-wide learning exposure and also a wide range of Other Learning Experiences (OLE) beyond the classroom. The Awards fully demonstrate how our students have benefitted the most from our education reform – having successfully struck the balance between achieving academic excellences and developing life-long interests and personal aspirations along the learning journey.
We are now entering the stage of “Learning to Learn 2.0: Moving Forward to Excel” in the pursuit of excellence in our curriculum reform. We place much emphasis on values education, self-directed learning, IT in education and STEM education, i.e. Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics education. The Awards, with the newly established category “Scientist & Mathematician”, undoubtedly align with our latest curriculum development. Schools are encouraged to work together to sustain and deepen what has been achieved, and progress towards the direction of “Learning to Learn 2.0” for the common goal of our education, i.e., to achieve the aims of whole-person development and life-long learning in schools.
I congratulate all the winners of the Awards on their outstanding achievements and remarkable personal growth. I have no doubt that every one of you will excel in your future roles and contribute to the future well-being of society, our nation and the world at large, but do always bear in mind that the key to success in life is not to get ahead of other people, but to get ahead of ourselves.
My heartfelt thanks go to the SCMP and the Hong Kong Jockey Club for organising such a successful and meaningful event. I am sure the Student of the Year Awards Ceremony would continue to be an opportunity to celebrate the remarkable achievements of our students in the years to come.
Finally, may I wish you all a happy and prosperous Year of the Goat!