Newspaperman Shum tells graduates of Sha Tin Government Secondary School to gain knowledge, think critically and set clear targets for life Columnist Shum Yat-fei advised students of Sha Tin Government Secondary School to stay close to nature. Speaking at the school's speech day, he also said thinking critically and having clear aims in life would help students in future. Mr Shum said he was impressed by a banyan tree in the school's garden. 'The big tree is a priceless treasure in the school. Blessed are those who cling to the bosom of mother nature,' he said. He urged students to meditate under it, preferably bare-footed. Mr Shum told the students what he understood by the school motto, 'Wisdom, Love and Vigour'. 'In this age, when right is not told from wrong, students need to gain knowledge as well as learn to think critically and independently. 'If you learn without being able to think, you will be confused. 'If you simply think without being knowledgeable, you become uninformed. To be wise, you need to be both well-informed and able to think.' Mr Shum also urged the students to have integrity and clear goals in life. 'Everyone has his fair share of worries at different times of his life. 'But as long as one has a clear conscience, one can face one's problems bravely and without regrets,' he said. 'Once the aims of life are clear, one will commit oneself vigorously to better oneself and one's community, and will not be dismayed by setbacks.' Mr Shum said the rich variety of extra-curricular activities at the school gave students many opportunities to train themselves and develop a good character. He also noted a rare feature of the school - its four houses named after flowers. 'Education is like growing flowers - both require great skills,' Mr Shum said. He said teachers got the greatest job satisfaction from their ability to grow 'fragrant flowers', a Chinese metaphor which means 'good people'. In his annual report, principal Ma Siu-leung commended the assistant principals, teaching and non-teaching staff and students for the efforts they had made to achieve success in different areas. He said students spoke more English and developed a stronger interest in studying because of the teachers' efforts and because of the implementation of English as the teaching medium. The school continued to achieve good results in public examinations. The 180 candidates who sat for the HKCEE scored 218 distinctions and 619 credits. The percentage of candidates who scored at least five Es was 98.3. Wong Yuk-wah scored nine distinctions and one credit. Yoeng Hiu-lee scored eight distinctions and one credit. Soong Chieh-pin scored eight credits and Law Chi-yuen, Yeung Hon and Ng Hoi-ka each scored seven distinctions and one credit. In the arts stream, Lo Kai, Chou Chuk-nam and Chan Siu-fung obtained six distinctions and two credits each. The 62 candidates who sat for the A-Levels scored 43 distinctions and 145 credits. The pass rate was nearly 100 per cent Wong Sze-man and Law Ching-ting each scored four distinctions and one credit. Chu Hon-fai, Wong Chun-nang, Ng Sze-wing, Cheung Siu-chun and Fong Kin-yee each scored three distinctions and two credits. Chung Kwong-leung obtained three distinctions and one credit. Nearly 60 students were admitted to universities in the territory. Chan Hon-chuen of Form 6S won the Student of the Year Award for achieving all-round development in his secondary school life. Many new facilities were installed in the 1995-96 school year, including the public address system and an overhead projector screen in each classroom, hi-tech equipment and lockers for students.