DSS status offers students best chance

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 13 July, 2013, 12:00am
UPDATED : Saturday, 13 July, 2013, 3:36am

Parents fret, worry and fuss; it's our job, and it's only natural.

Every one of us wants the very best for our children. As the mother of a young girl who is growing up as part of the St Stephen's Girls' College community, I am no exception.

Like every parent with a child at the school, I feel fortunate to have secured a place for my daughter at this caring, progressive institution with an outstanding academic track record.

This summer, however, a shadow of uncertainty is hanging over its future. St Stephen's is embroiled in a debate over whether to become a Direct Subsidy Scheme (DSS) school which has divided the school community.

Parents and teachers on both sides of the argument unquestionably have their differences but every one of us has the interests of the students at heart.

As an executive in the financial world, I know that we live in a fast-changing world. Last year's solutions are not next year's solutions. What was good enough a month ago will not be good enough next month.

The world of education, thankfully, is vastly different to the world of finance, but the need to adapt and excel is just as crucial.

A switch to DSS would bring tremendous benefits to St Stephen's - not only in the standard of education but also in the standard of care it would enable the school to give to our daughters.

DSS would give St Stephen's the freedom to match the curriculum to the students rather than vice versa, and freedom to nurture every student to the very best of their abilities.

It would allow the school to hire more teachers and teaching assistants, giving teachers a better working environment and more freedom to concentrate on doing what they do best - teaching our children.

Twenty per cent of school fees would be set aside for scholarships and financial aid to make sure that no child is deprived of the opportunity to study in a DSS school for financial reasons alone.

I believe a switch to DSS would be a positive, progressive step that would give St Stephen's the opportunity to set new standards in primary and secondary education in Hong Kong.

For today's generation of students, the ability to stand out from the crowd is essential. Becoming a DSS school would give our children the best possible start in a challenging world.

Lorraine Yee, Central