A higher calling to pursue

EDUCATION should have the wider role of developing individuals who not only have a sound academic grounding, but also the vision to enhance the quality of their society.

However, a hectic and extremely competitive society like Hong Kong has made it difficult to produce balanced educated human beings to fulfil such higher calling.

This concern was expressed by University of Hong Kong Vice-Chancellor Professor Wang Gungwu, who was guest-of-honour at the recent speech day of Diocesan Girls' School (DGS).

Professor Wang said our society's fast-paced changes had left Hong Kong with more marriage and family breakdowns, more mental patients, degradation of the environment and fears of an uncertain future.

'The danger in change is that we often forget the roots that make us what we are and throw away those values and traditions that are important for our society,' he said.

Students should be aware of the changes in society and the world, and learn how to judge and evaluate them, he added.

DGS headmistress Elim Lau said students would benefit most if they were taught in English at an early age.

Hong Kong children, unlike their peers in China, had the opportunity to learn English as easily as Chinese without the stigma of English being a 'foreign language', Mrs Lau said Such communicative ability, without ignoring Chinese proficiency, would prove an advantage, and not a betrayal of our heritage, in preparing future Hong Kong Chinese for their post-1997 role, she said.

The school scored a 100 per cent pass rate in English, and 95 per cent in Chinese in both HKCEE and A-Level exams last year. It was also the first girls' school in the territory to have five straight As students in the HKCEE.

DGS Head Girl Susana Chan Wing-yan was last year's Student of the Year of the Form Six class and the South China Morning Post 's Student of the Year runner-up. Form Six student Robyn Lamsam was the Post 's Student Sportsman.

Janice Tang Hiu-chi, another Student of the Year (Form Four), was one of two student representatives who attended the Hoby Youth World Leadership Congress held in the US last year.