Sir Ellis Kadoorie Secondary School 9 Eastern Hospital Road Sookunpo THE popular Latin adage Carpe Diem or ''Seize the Day'' is to become the motto for Sir Ellis Kadoorie Secondary School students. ''The idea is to encourage students to value time,'' said principal Dr Latiffa Khan, who had been looking for an appropriate school motto that would provide a strong guiding light to her students, the majority of whom are from the Indian sub-continent. ''The younger generation in Hong Kong lives in an affluent society and many of our students are not aware of the difficult conditions of life in their homelands. ''I feel they need to appreciate life and develop a sense of urgency to prepare themselves for the future.'' The government school was originally founded for local Indians in the 1890s with the help of a donation from the late Sir Ellis Kadoorie. Today its students come from at least eight Asian nationalities with a majority from India (58 per cent) and Pakistan (34 per cent). The rest are from the Philippines, Nepal, Indonesia, Bangladesh and Portugal, with some local and overseas Chinese. One common factor unites students from all nationalities - a passion for hockey. Their hockey team has won the inter-school hockey league title since 1988 - with an exception in 1992. Dr Khan, who has been the school principal for nine years, would also like to see her students preserve their identity. Born in a Chinese and Pakistani family herself, Dr Khan said: ''I can identify with and understand my students very well. I would like them to learn more about their culture, be proud of it and contribute to the Hong Kong community.'' Several new projects have been launched this year to boost students' morale. During the morning assembly, students are reminded to boost their determination and self-esteem through an old guiding principle of ''I Can Do It!''. All classrooms and laboratories are now equipped with modern facilities such as transistor amplifiers, which help students pay more attention in the class. Prefects act as a bridge between teachers and students, while a new Peer Counselling Club trains senior form students to help their junior schoolmates. A fitting introduction to the sports-loving school was the Duke of Edinburgh's Award scheme, a project that ''helps students to burn their energy'' in a positive way, according to Dr Khan. FACT FILE BACKGROUND The school was founded in the 1890s. DESCRIPTION It is a co-educational secondary grammar school. There are 400 students and the staff comprises 21 full-time teachers and 10 auxiliary staff. PRINCIPAL Dr Latiffa Khan, who has an MA (HKU), a PhD (Victoria University of Wellington) and a Certificate in Education (HKU), is the school principal. Dr Khan has 16 years' teaching experience. TEACHING LANGUAGE Students are taught English, French, Hindi and Urdu, although English is the chief medium of instruction. ACTIVITIES The school offers a wide range of activities for students. They are divided into 20 clubs and societies. SPORTS Soccer and hockey are encouraged at school. RECREATION Recreation facilities include a basketball court, a small playground and an assembly hall. Students interested in singing or music can join the school choir. FACILITIES The school has nine classrooms, a computer studies room, a home economics room, a design and technology room and two science laboratories. Field trips are organised for geography subject. PREFECTS A team of 24 prefects is headed by Karamjit Singh.