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Principal’s Message - December 2020

Message from the Principal: Staying grateful and hopeful during the Pandemic

It has almost been a school term since assuming principalship in Hoi Ping under the pandemic situation. Being the first Principal with no prior experience in the school, some Principal friends of mine asked if I could adapt to it. Without hesitation, I told them that ‘I am grateful and I enjoy my work tremendously. The teachers here love Hoi Ping so much that I feel my job more satisfying than ever.’ Just as several retired Hoi Ping predecessors said, Hoi Ping is always blessed with the presence of capable good teachers who are dedicated to education.


Education is not the filling of a pail but the lighting of a fire. Teachers of Hoi Ping accompany and guide our students to learn and grow in adversity. The school has experienced challenge after challenge posed by the pandemic. Owing to the volatility of the pandemic, lessons are conducted in mixed modes, online and face-to-face. Teachers have to change their teaching methods and adjust their timetable promptly. We often wonder: how can we increase students' engagement and motivation during online lessons and enhance their learning effectiveness? Our extra-curricular activities are almost suspended since we only have half-day classes. How can we take care of students’ physical and mental development apart from their studies? There is risk of crowd gathering when organising various school events, from ‘Speech Day’ and ‘S1 Admission Information Day’ to ‘Parents' Day’. How can we make appropriate arrangements to ensure effectiveness and cater for the needs of all stakeholders?


Although the pandemic has brought us many challenges, it has also created opportunities to promote e-learning development in our school. I am very grateful that my colleagues have adapted well to the new online teaching mode during the pandemic. To facilitate learning, they have tried different software and methods to design online assessments. They use online platforms to take attendance, distribute and collect homework. This is definitely a huge step forward for e-learning development in Hoi Ping! Furthermore, as it was impossible to conduct physical functions, we went online and conducted ‘Student Union Election’, ‘House Meetings’ and even online fitness training and choir practices. Flexibility is the most valuable lesson we have learned from this experience. For the first time in history, we held the ‘S1 Admission Information Day’ online. In addition to a live broadcast, a virtual campus tour was pre-recorded to introduce our school to the participants vividly. This unprecedented attempt allowed us to introduce Hoi Ping to more than 1000 families. After the event, we uploaded the event videos, Q&A sessions and the results of teacher-student collaboration to the school website, so as to share the joy with more people.


We are pleased with not only the new opportunities in the midst of the crisis, but also with how our students now cherish their school days and not taking them for granted. When face-to-face classes first resumed, I communicated with S1 parents on the phone and was glad to hear that their children like going to school and were happy to attend face-to-face classes after the long wait. When Hong Kong entered the fourth wave of the pandemic, our S6 students treated every school day as their last day at school as they were afraid that classes would suspend at any time and that they would have no chance to say goodbye to their teachers and classmates. When students look forward to attending classes, they will be more engaged in lessons; and when they are engaged in the lessons, they will be able to learn more and grow faster. I am eager to talk to students and listen to them. In the limited school days, I can only welcome students at the entrance with a nod and a ‘hello’ with my eyes.


Communication with students is precious for me. Apart from the sincere dialogue with the committees of the Student Union and peer tutors, what impressed me most was the interview with the student reporters from ‘Oasis’, the student newspaper. I remember they asked me, ‘Principal Chen, Hoi Ping is a band 1 school with outstanding performance in both academics and athletics. Which area do you expect Hoi Ping to further excel in the future?’ I smiled and told them that instead of developing a certain school project, Principal Chen would like to develop each and every student by providing them with heaps of opportunities to explore their potentials. If all students are able to find their own shining stage, why do we have to worry about the school development? This is my philosophy of school management, and it is also the reason why I applied for the post as a Principal.


No one knows when the pandemic will fade, but I believe that God has His own plan and everything is under control. Every cloud has a silver lining. Stay hopeful and the sun will shine after the rain. I wish you all the best and blessings to Hoi Ping!


T.N. Chen


校長的話:「疫」要感恩 常存盼望