High praise for the city's inventive special teachers
Chief Executive Donald Tsang Yam-kuen yesterday praised special schools for their innovation in teaching mentally challenged pupils, when handing out this year's Chief Executive's Award for Teaching Excellence.
'Each child has a potential talent, just in a different manifestation [from others],' said Tsang, who presented the awards now in their seventh year.
Forty-four teachers from 11 schools were recognised in three categories: special education, mathematics, and moral and civic education. Sixty others received certificates of merit.
Among the low-tech methods singled out for praise was a game introduced at Po Leung Kuk Centenary School called 'hit the chicken leg,' which marks the start of lessons
According to teachers, telling children to jump up and hit a chicken-leg-shaped soft target makes pupils aware of 'class progression' and helps them stay on an even keel.
Teachers at Hong Chi Morninghill School, Tsui Lam, were praised for developing study plans for each pupil, and through role-plays and stories helping them learn appropriate behaviour.
The educators said the extra effort was worth it. 'We feel content as long as it helps the students integrate into society,' teacher Lam Ka-yee said.
Pupils at the Hong Chi Winifred Mary Cheung Morninghope School were given various study kits, depending on the way they learned best. Those who learn better through images received electronic screens while those more sensitive to sounds received recorders and speakers.
Hi-tech strategies were also popular. The Fung Kai Innovative School was recognised for distributing small computers, which pupils used for reading texts and doing homework. The devices not only made studies more interesting, they allowed teachers to give instant feedback.