How to establish a harmonious atmosphere in school?
With the increasing demand of non-Chinese speaking children studying in local ordinary schools, it is desirable for schools to establish a harmonious learning environment so that students of different nationalities and cultural backgrounds can study and grow in a friendly and supportive environment. To create a harmonious atmosphere, it is important that all teachers and students in the school are willing to accept non-Chinese speaking students and assist them in integrating into school life. To achieve the above objectives, schools may provide the following services to them through comprehensive guidance service.
First of all, regarding organization and management, the guidance and discipline section may draw up relevant policies with teachers, e.g. policies of creating a harmonious school atmosphere and catering for learner differences. Such policies should take into account the development needs of all students. The special learning and adjustment problems of individual students should also be addressed, including the needs of non-Chinese speaking children. With such policies, stakeholders will recognize and take part in the establishment of a harmonious school. Relevant strategies should be formulated and implemented at various levels, e.g. guidance lessons, support services to parents and teachers and arrangement of group and guidance activities for students.
In respect of personal growth education, schools are encouraged to include relevant topics in the guidance lessons at various levels, e.g. being helpful and friendly to each other, mutual respect, accepting children of different nationalities and respecting their unique culture and daily habits etc, to promote the concepts of respecting, caring for and accepting other people. This will help establish a harmonious school culture.
Concerning the support services, schools should take the initiative to contact and invite the parents of non-Chinese speaking students to attend school activities. Besides, non-Chinese speaking parents may also encounter difficulties in raising their children and instructing them in their studies. Schools should strengthen their support to parents, e.g. organizing forums and seminars for parents regularly. At the beginning of school terms, student counsellors should take the initiative to contact the teachers/class teachers concerned and ask them to pay attention to the non-Chinese speaking students in their classes. If these students have adjustment and learning difficulties, prompt assistance should be offered, or relevant community resources should be introduced to these families to help them solve their problems. The attitude and knowledge of teachers is also very important in creating a harmonious atmosphere in school. Schools may arrange teachers to participate in related workshops, seminars or sharing sessions, e.g. inviting professionals from social service institutions to deliver talks in school on the characteristics of non-Chinese speaking families and the ways of communicating with them, so as to familiarize teachers with the culture and habits of non-Chinese speaking students. As a result, teachers will be able to provide relevant assistance to them.
Schools can also organize different guidance activities to help non-Chinese speaking children integrate into school life, e.g. school-based guidance activities based on the theme of care in the school, orientation day for primary one students, or organizing social and interest groups for students in need etc. Schools may also introduce "big brother, big sister" activities by arranging students at senior levels to assist non-Chinese speaking children in adapting and addressing their learning difficulties to establish a harmonious and supportive learning environment.