Meanwhile, in the other SAR ... When it comes to teaching English in Macau, Sheng Kung Hui School has a very good reputation. Year after year its students are recognised in competitions as among the top English speakers in the region. Last year the school won the Chinese Educators' Association of Macau English Speaking Competition and the sixth Macau-wide English Speech Contest. Its students also came second in the 21st Scholastics Cup National High School and Primary School Speaking Competition in Beijing. Principal David Brown attributes the school's success to the fact that it is 'very different' from most other Macau schools. Sheng Kung Hui opened in Taipa in 2002 with five classes and 147 pupils. Now the school boasts more than 900 children from 32 countries. Mr Brown said students spend more time learning English and Putonghua than at most other schools. 'English is the main language of education, communication and business in the world, so it is important that Macau students can speak it well,' he said. There has been criticism about the way students are taught English in Macau for a long time, with many feeling that there is too much reliance on rote learning. Mr Brown said the variety of teachers at Sheng Kung Hui meant that students learned both English and Putonghua from native speakers. 'We use textbooks to supplement the learning, not to guide it,' he explained. 'Learning needs to be interactive between pupil and teacher, not passive, where the child simply listens.' School events co-ordinator Arvin Raymundo said the school was so successful because the students and teachers worked hard while making sure they had fun.