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1 February 2018

1 February 2018
One of my happiest moments is seeing old friends and making new partners for education.  In mid-January, I had an opportunity to visit our sister school in Guangzhou, Guangzhou No. 13 High School, where the Principal and Vice Principal received me to exchange school happenings, and the differences between managing a school of 800 and another double of its size; I was invited to watch their annual talent show where more than 12 teams of students, both junior and senior high school sections, competed for the applause from their 1800 school mates in the open square.
Before the show, students queued up neatly in the school square for roll call. I was impressed by their efficiency and discipline. The next happening amazed me: students passed along red stools, one by one, and sat in a very orderly fashion, in open air for the show.  I was impressed not only because it was done efficiently and orderly, but how quietly the whole process was conducted.  Six student MCs, one from each level, opened the show, inviting Principal Chen to speak to the whole school. The principal went over the school spirit and motto, the importance of classroom education and off campus education, and commended on students’ excellent behavior.
Then the show began: dances, bands, songs, Chinese musical instruments, etc. a good variety.  I was impressed by the fact that students just finished their examinations ten days or so before, but were able to produce such a high quality of series of performances, much like our school gala.  The show came to an end after teachers’ performance, which received thundering applause, and the announcement of competition results.
The principals and I were sharing, during the show, that education should not be confined in the classroom.  More often than not, students learn more when exposed to opportunities new to them, in a safe condition. Principal Chen and I also agreed that western education is more liberal, but their parents’ personal hands-on support is much higher, while parent support in Asia is mostly resorted to enrolling children into interest classes.  Therefore, side-by-side comparison of education between East and West may be difficult.  Nonetheless, the youngsters’ yearn for knowledge, the teachers’ dedication, and the various programs the community provides for all to participate and grow are all the same. It depends on an individual’s willingness to want to be a part of the momentum.
Well done, everyone in the Guangzhou No.13 High School.  We will have more exchanges so that the two schools can learn from each other.
Anson Yang