As an educator, Iyad Matuk firmly believes in the importance of all-round development and giving each student the chance to discover individual talents. 'Exam results are important and, of course, we want students to go on to tertiary education,' says Matuk, co-principal of Yew Chung International School (YCIS) secondary section. 'But we feel the most important thing is the all-round education they receive and being able to explore interests in areas such as the arts, theatre, debating or sports.' For such reasons, YCIS was among the first in Hong Kong to adopt the International Baccalaureate (IB) diploma programme in 2000 and believes it basically delivers on what is promised: to produce students with a global perspective, a social conscience and, besides their academic credentials, a range of research, teamwork and communication skills. In particular, Matuk is a fan of the 'service' aspect of the IB educational philosophy, which also stresses the need for creativity and action. It requires students to take part in a community-linked project to learn to play a musical instrument, or take up a new sport. 'It is a chance to test themselves and extend their limits,' he says 'If kids are part of our musical production, one year they might be in the orchestra, then they could be backstage, doing choreography, or being an assistant director.' Regarding the core curriculum, Matuk believes the regular reviews with the co-ordinating IB office help ensure the overall programme and courses move with the times. 'If we compare 10 years ago with today, we can see huge changes have taken place,' Matuk says. 'Each subject has a cycle of five to seven years, during which schools give feedback and ideas, so the IB organisation can keep the curriculum up to date.'