Principal’s Speech for the Opening Ceremony

Good morning. Teachers and students, a very warm welcome to all of you, especially my Form One students. Let me introduce myself to you first, I am your Principal Fung Nga Sze Agnes. This is my second year serving as the principal of this school, it brings me great pleasure to be here today for the opening ceremony for the academic year 2018-19 of Po Leung Kuk Lee Shing Pik College. This is the second time that I made a speech as a School Principal; it actually makes me feel excited, even more excited than last year! Like this morning, new students and old students alike greeted me with smiles, and even waving of their hands. With these warm gestures, I feel that this is a warm and friendly school, and I am a warm and friendly person, I feel that I am right at home! From this day onwards, there will be many chances when we shall bump into each other around campus or in various functions. Please feel free to share with me whatever you are thinking or feeling about your studies, your school and so on. Of course, a simple word of greeting, a smile or even a nod would also be taken as a sign of connectedness.

As some of you may have heard it last year already, but I think it is worthwhile for me to share with you again why I wanted to become a teacher many years ago, it is very simple, I wanted to make a difference. I want to change the world and the people around me. Like my own teachers who inspired me when I was at school, I wanted all my students to become not only knowledgeable but also dedicated, compassionate, wise, humorous, liberal, imaginative, balanced, reflective and thorough. When you become a young person with a career, what people would notice is not your exam grades but the kind of person you are. I am not telling you that your studies were not important (because they were). Rather, I wanted you to see your academic performance as part of a bigger picture, that it is a part of, but not the whole of your whole person development, which is fundamentally more important and long lasting.

If you want to become outstanding in your surroundings, you should start to understand what is professionalism; it is to equip yourself with problem solving skills, communication skills and teamwork spirit in order to survive and stay competitive in the work environment. My dear students, if you are a part of any school team or if you are assigned with any duties or projects, please see them as opportunities to train yourself in becoming a successful person in the future.

While you were enjoying your summer holiday, many teachers and staff were busy preparing for the forth coming school year. As you will soon notice, thanks to the incredible effort of our teachers and janitors, the floor tiles on the 3rd floor as well as all the interior walls of the school premises have all been renovated. I hope you would appreciate their hard work in bringing the school into a more desirable and accommodating place.

Have you spent your summer holiday wisely and meaningfully? I have to tell you, I did. As many of you know, together with Ms. Koo, and Mr Ng, I have participated with 10 students in the school trip to Kenya, in east Africa. It was truly a memorable experience for me, and I hope the students have learnt and grown from the trip too. I can’t wait for their interesting sharing with you soon! Other trips held during the summer included the one to Singapore and many other local activities which are also very impressive, such as the Form 1 orientation parents’ talk, the PLK flag day, Form 1 orientation program; Form 4 student leaders participating in a free movie treat last weekend; all these activities had certainly brought colours to our summer break!

Our 2018 HKDSE results has improved significantly, with an overall passing rate of 94.3%. in particular, we saw a record high passing rate of 99.2% and 97.7% in English language and Chinese language. 3 subjects obtained 100% rate as well. So, well done everyone. The percentage of students gaining the 3322 benchmark for university entrance has increased from 38.2% to 53.8%; and the percentage of students gaining a JUPAS offer has increased from 44.7% to 58.3%; this is very encouraging and I hope our F6 students could be inspired and motivated by the success of their predecessors. Remember, your teachers are here to help you get through your upcoming challenges.

The most outstanding highflyer, 何耀昇 achieved 2 level 5* and 3 level 5, he will study Engineering at HKU; closely followed by 梁綺珊 achieving 1 Level 5** and 3 level 5, she will study Business and Management at the HKUST; and 蕭哲謙achieving 2 Level 5* and 2 level 5 who will study Science at HKU.

Highlights of the coming month include the F4 Beijing Study Tour being sponsored by our sponsoring body, the Po Leung Kuk. A total of nearly 130 teachers and students of our school will be joined with 3 other PLK schools making a total of 600 people visiting Beijing from 16 to 20 of September. In addition, our football team, together with teams from other PLK affiliated schools will enter a tournament in Panyu with teams from Taiwan, Guangdong and Macau.

This year would be the third year of our school’s 3-year School Development Plan, we have two major concerns throughout these three years. One of them is about the promotion of Careers and Life Planning education for both teachers and students; and the other one is to promote English learning further through collaboration among different subjects in the junior secondary levels

As what I always share with teachers and students, Career and Life Planning is an important aspect and we should start planning as soon as possible. As a student, Career and Life Planning is a process of career decision making, from understanding oneself to developing, researching, followed by connecting oneself to exploration of study or training opportunities. All students can plan ahead better for their future and goals they want to actualize in life. As a result of our effort, I am pleased to share with that our JUPAS offer rate for the 2018 graduates has hit a record breaking rate of 58% compared with 44.7% in 2017.

Apart from this, enhancing students’ language proficiency is always our goal. With good command of language, we could learn a lot of knowledge from reading and communicating with others. Over these years, our school has been introducing a lot of measures to enhance the English Language proficiency for our students. For the following three academic years, our school has an intention of collaborating different subject groups to introduce some interesting and innovative measures for you to learn the subject content on the one hand; and polish your English proficiency on the other.

Apart from these two major concerns, we also intend to strengthen the scientific and technological development in school. It is our belief that we should do something more on science and technology in order to equip our students with all the 21st century work-ready skills. We hope that students could be nurtured to be creative, innovative, far-sighted and persistent in problem solving. These are the qualities people need in the 21st century. We hope that we could help develop our students towards these aspects. Hope you all enjoy your life in our school.
Teachers are sometimes referred as ‘gardeners’ as it is their job to help you develop and grow into the best that nature has installed in you. I hope that you could cooperate well with our 1 and let them help you to shine and grow during your years in school.

Finally, I have to share with you quote of one of my teenage idol, Madonna, she said, “No matter who you are, no matter what you did, no matter where you’ve come from, you can always become a better version of yourself.”

We all are a continual work in progress, so we can’t beat ourselves up for not being where we want to be in this very moment. It takes hard work, dedication, and serious soul-searching to become the best versions of ourselves, but we can always keep striving for better. We can always rise above our self-imposed limits and accept more than mediocrity. In no matter what you are doing, if you haven’t given up yet, then you should be extremely proud of yourself. No one promises us that life is a piece of cake, and it takes a true warrior to see it through to the end.

“Integrity is choosing courage over comfort; choosing what is right over what is fun, fast, or easy; and choosing to practice our values rather than simply professing them.” ― a phrase so beautifully put by Dr. Brené Brown, a social scientist who is being sought after by millions of followers on Youtube.

Welcome back, my dear students, next time, when you pick up your mobile phone to check onto your favorite social media or online game, can you please remember that your competitors in life may be using their time more wisely and therefore will always be ahead of you. Let’s make it a good start!

Make this a rewarding and fruitful year by making the right Choice, take the Chance and make the Change you want in your life!

Thank you very much.