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1 August 2021

1 August 2021
Some years ago, a teacher and I exchanged views on student performance, and what parents expected of their children. A few historical great events were mentioned, great sculptors, artists, scientists were mentioned; we thought parents and students should be inspired by these notable figures, and worked harder in all areas.  But we quickly found a fallacy in our thinking, that most notable people in the past, creating great things, had one task only. A painter spent years to perfect his skills, a scientist glued himself to a desk to prove a theory, a sportsman didn’t go home for months in order to focus and had more than 10 hours of practice of one sport every day.  On the other hand, modern people like us need work-life balance, and many more.  The teacher and I laughed together and ended the conversation.
We wanted everything, and we hope that we do well in everything. Indeed, even I told students that they should become better than their last generation and become Renaissance Man. I am still telling students that, not because I wanted them to be great; I just wanted them to be able to cope for the ever-changing environment.  My jaw dropped when I saw a Korean reality show which prepared participants to survive when their world faced a major disaster.  That pretty much sums it up: we wanted students to be prepared, and if they can excel in one or two areas, good.
For an individual to do well in all areas is a feat.  Take HKDSE as an example, the media celebrates the strongest students for they get 5** in all subjects. They are celebrated because they are rare cases.  For the less perfect people like us, we aim at knowing a lot of things, good at a few, hide what we don’t know much.  Ask me anything science or mathematics, I will introduce you to my vice principals and assistant principals.
Parents need to know what we intend to prepare their children for, how they can cooperate, and make sure there is no mismatch in the concepts. They also need to know once the above is settled, all parties: school, parents, and students, are all responsible for the learning and healthy growth of the students. Our small wonders of pyramid could not be built if one block was missing. In the course, I will keep saying our students are the best, because they are. They should be doing the best they can, and every year, there is improvement, so every year we have a new version of best.  I am sure the new Form 1 students, and the refreshed KLC students this year are the best I have ever seen.
Anson Yang