How to mould global citizens
Although St Paul's College is the oldest school in Hong Kong, it does not rest on its laurels, constantly moving with the times. Except for about nine years when the school was closed during and shortly after the Pacific War, St Paul's has provided broad-based education and life-enriching guidance that have encouraged pupils to develop a lasting sense of moral, social and spiritual responsibility.
A new St Paul's primary school campus is being built in Pok Fu Lam, near Cyberport, due for completion towards the end of next year.
The principal of St Paul's College, Dr John Kennard, says it is important that the institution prepares students both academically and socially on their journey to adulthood. To ensure students are well-equipped to become global citizens in an increasingly complex world, St Paul's encourages academic excellence and leadership. It also provides multiple pathways to tertiary and vocational training programmes. 'We aim to provide our boys with a good grounding and the personal development to become a global citizen. This is achieved not just by talking about it but also by allowing them to be part of it,' Kennard says.
He adds that a good example of the global citizen philosophy is the 'Global Classroom' programme, launched in 2005, which helps students to develop literacy skills, including the ability to read critically and communicate effectively through hands-on experience.
Led by teachers, the school last year conducted 16 student tours abroad, including an economics and social studies tour to Dubai and Abu Dhabi, an eco-tour to Canada, history study tours to Berlin and Warsaw, and participation in a community awareness project in Guizhou, China.
'Our boys realise the importance of, and enjoy, giving back to the community. Each year, they participate in a major community project. For example, last year, they got their hands dirty while helping to build school recreation facilities in a remote part of China. Previously, they have worked with disabled children and assisted Hong Kong eye specialists with voluntary work in China,' Kennard says.
The college has also set up the Students' Association, which provides financial assistance to needy students. Meanwhile, its House system, which revolves around membership from all parts of the school, aims to promote communication between teachers and students to foster closeness.