PUBLISHED : Thursday, 20 November, 1997, 12:00am
UPDATED : Thursday, 20 November, 1997, 12:00am

The next century will be 'an era of Asia', Tsuen Wan Government Secondary School students were told at their speech day.

Guest-of-honour Professor Cheng Yin-cheong said the 21st century would provide many opportunities for Hong Kong and today's students should be ready to take advantage.

Professor Cheng, director of the Centre for Research and Development at Hong Kong Institute of Education, said the world continued to advance because people strove to make their dreams come true.

'First, we must dare to dream,' said Professor Cheng.

'Second, we must believe that our dreams will come true and finally, we must further our knowledge and build up the necessary strength of purpose to ensure that these dreams do in fact become a reality,' he said.

The speech day had been formally opened by school principal Ko Wing-kow.

Mr Ko said Professor Cheng's contribution was valued as he had considerable experience in education at home and abroad.

He said highlights of the 1996-97 school year had included new moves under the School Management Initiative.

The year also saw several long-serving staff retire, including Tang Ping-leung, principal from 1990 until 1996.

Mr Ko said moves had been made to build up the Music Department's work and the English Department received new materials and technology.

The school also had a new public address system. The principal said students had gained excellent results in public examinations and inter-school competitions.

In the 1997 HKCEE, 172 students achieved 161 distinctions and 631 credits. The most outstanding performers were Pong Wing-tai, with eight As and one B, and Siu Pui-yi, with eight As.

Four Advanced-Level candidates won three distinctions.

Mr Ko said he was also pleased by Ho Hiu-shan's world-wide first place in a book-keeping examination. Ma Chin-man also did well and students received two United World College and two Grantham scholarships.

The school also won the New Territories General Chamber of Commerce Trophy for Senior Form Choral Speaking, a drama award and 17 prizes in the Schools Music Festival.

The ceremony also featured a variety of musical performances.