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People-oriented holistic education builds loving culture

School is not just a building but a cradle that educates students, supports teachers and inspires parents. The mission of a school is not just passing knowledge but cultivating students in way that suit them best. As an educator with a career of over 35 years, the principal of The Salvation Army Centaline Charity Fund Queen’s Hill School (Queen’s Hill School) Mr Daniel Lo Yiu-kei believes strongly that a school should connect with teachers, students and parents with love and respect, and it is the role of a school to nurture student growth and teach them to love themselves and others. Over all these years, he has put these ideas on education in his work in The Salvation Army schools.

Supporting every student

Over the course of his long career, Principal Lo had participated in the start-up of two schools, and one of them was The Salvation Army Lam Butt Chung Memorial School (Lam Butt Chung School) in Tung Chung. In those days, most students in Tung Chung were from grassroots families, so the first thing the school did was arranging support for each student’s basic needs. Lo, who acted as the discipline officer at that time, recalled, ‘We reached for different sources to get resources and subsidies for students, and we did home visits. We also gradually upgraded the school facilities, trying to provide various learning opportunities for our students.’

Every student is unique and Principal Lo has guided them using various approaches. ‘In those days, I shared with students bible stories and life lessons in every morning assembly and recess through broadcasting, reminding them that only if they finish small things well they can achieve big things. If there were students being good in class, I would take a note of their names; I appreciated and recognised our students whenever they did well, even for small things like wearing uniforms tidily. Over time it built up students’ awareness to motivate themselves.’

Love and care that stay forever

Yip Man-wa, who is now a solicitor in an international law firm, joined P.4 class of Lam Butt Chung School as one of the first group of students and she has kept in contact with Principal Lo since her graduation. In her two-year studies, the school has given her great support in many ways. ‘My family environment was rather bad. My parents are not well educated and worked all day till the night. The school understood our financial difficulties, and they arranged extra-curricular activities, subsidies and travelling allowance for us.  The young me did not think it was something special, not until when I went to secondary school I realised such help was not something that can be taken for granted.’

‘I was not old enough to understand, but we could always feel the sincere care given by the teachers,’ she continued. “They recognised students who got good grades and did well at sports, and they also respect the naughty ones. Every day Mr Lo greeted us at the front gate, said hi to us one by one when we lined up before and after classes. He would tell us to keep away from the traffic and be aware of the bugs and mosquitos in bushes. His thoughtful words adding up bit by bit and have anchored in my heart. All these episodes may seem weightless but they are treasure for students like me who are growing and need care most. It’s not easy for a school to nurture students who excel, but what’s even more challenging is for the students to feel loved. With Mr Lo and the other teachers’ endeavours, Lam Butt Chung School has achieved these goals.’

Multifaceted approach to bring loving culture to the community

Later, Principal Lo advocated a people-oriented approach in Lam Butt Chung School, focusing on building the characters and virtues of both students and teachers thought developing and nurturing their qualities and personality. He then brought the same education idea to the newly opened Queen’s Hill School. Attaching great value to people-oriented and positive education, the new school works on discovering and nurturing students’ strengths, building their resilience in adversity and encouraging personal growth, and nurturing good citizens dedicated to ‘Life Engagement, Pro-active Learners, Environmental Betterment and Community Enrichment’. The regular school curriculum, combining with Christianity-based spiritual education, guide students to have a loving attitude towards themselves and others. Pastor and school join hands together to support students, parents and school staff with spiritual, emotional and daily life needs.

Principal Lo shared his vision on the future development of Queen’s Hill School. ‘The top priority for now is to work with our teachers and parents so that we can have a good foundation. In the coming two years, we will provide positive education training across all our teaching staff and give them opportunity to develop their strengths. For parents, we will set up a ‘parenting workshop’ with lectures and trainings on disciplining and positive education, sharing the techniques of parenting. If our teachers and parents are not well prepared to work with us together, how can we set good role models for the students and help them to build their characters?’ Pastor of the school cares not only for teachers and students, he also joins the parenting workshop and Parent-Teacher Association to provide pastoral care for parents. Christianity theme can be found many places in the school – the main hall was designed with references to a church and there is a small stained glass chapel which serves as the venue for school activities, PTA meeting and spiritual education sessions.

Regardless of Queen’s Hill being a newly developed community full of challenges, Principal Lo is confident that the new school can grow well and set firmly in the community as a spot that spreads love and positivity. ‘Education is an important and influential task. I deeply believe that, if we do our work with heart, this new school can bring holistic development to our students. We look forward to passing the moral ‘Heart to God, Hand to Man.’ to all our students, parents and teachers, creating an environment that encourages both self-love and selfless love for others. It is more blessed to give than to receive, together we can create a momentum and spread love to everyone.’

To learn more and support our educational services, please click: https://salvationarmy.org.hk/fund_raising/the-salvation-army-queens-hill-school/?lang=en

More stories: https://salvationarmy.org.hk/information-centre/publications/army-scene/

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