Name: Patrick Ko Wing-kow Years of headship: One School: Tsuen Wan Government Secondary School Have you always wanted to be a school principal? At the very beginning, I hadn't thought of being a principal. But when I graduated from university, I became interested and entered a government secondary school as a teacher. The human relationship was less complicated in a teaching environment and I wanted to have the chance to educate the future generation. What is the most demanding part of a principal's job today? It is to make the school into a dream one - with excellence in academic results and student conduct - and one which keeps pace with society's changes. How does that compare with the challenges of 10 years ago? A principal's powers were once much greater; he or she was an authority and could do as they wished. As society developed, more democracy was included in school and administrative decisions are no longer made by principals alone. The views of teachers and students have to be taken into account. Describe your style of headship? I have built a system - an administrative committee - where the two assistant principals and I discuss school matters with teachers. After these discussions teachers are more willing to accept new policies and changes. What do you enjoy as a school head? As a teacher you can only follow the direction of the school or the principal. But as a principal you carry out your [educational] vision. What don't you enjoy? We have more responsibilities than teachers. I am responsible for almost every aspect of the school - anything from a tree to personnel. You have to deal with thousands of people. Fortunately, relations between teachers and students are harmonious. How do you cope with the pressures of your job? I have often had to bring work home, but I am not afraid of pressure. I lunch with my colleagues and play ball games. What is the most memorable moment in your job? I am upset at stubborn students who repeat their faults though they unwillingly offer to correct themselves. I prefer students to argue, until they accept my viewpoints willingly. On the other hand, I was happy with two recent graduation dinners. The students gave me a fountain pen and some handover souvenirs. Individual students and even parents have given me thank you cards. What would you like to be remembered for? As a fair and democratic principal. Who are your heroes? I like everyone who has done something like an innovation, new ideas . . . and anything. What would you like to tell your students? Live in harmony with people and open your mind for diversity. Try to analyse from different angles. Be responsible in work and make yourselves adaptive with knowledge. In particular maintain a good standard of Chinese and English - the key to communication. In short, become a balanced person. What would you like to tell your teachers? Understand the changing world. Teachers have to be more comprehensive and work outside their own subjects to develop students' full potential. Any tips for principals? A good principal should be a good leader. Most of all, they should have a vision.