Since I became Supervisor last December, many have been curious
to know my "new policy", esp. in view of some of the real or imagined
changes that I have been trying to introduce. As Supervisor, I
am only the chairman of the Management Board. It can be a position
of leadership and responsibility. But I cannot just lay down a
"new policy" as an autocrat.
Appreciation of Wah Yan
First of all I wish to express my appreciation for so many good
things in Wah Yan, my Alma Mater. The following is an excerpt
of what I wrote on December 3rd last year, Silver Jubilee of my
ordination as a priest in Wah Yan Chapel:
are our assets?
Extremely dedicated and knowledgeable people in administration.
They are men of integrity, with genuine spirit of service and
humility, preferring to take on more work themselves and make
others' work easier, having great respect for each person, tolerance
and patience for human limitations . . .
many loyal and dedicated teachers and staff with a real love for
WYK and the students.
respect and trust for teachers and students. For mature and responsible
ones, such atmosphere encourages initiative, autonomy and development.
on all-round education.
achievements in sports and music also.
many Student Association and extra-curricular activities, providing
great opportunities for training in cooperation and leadership.
initiative and a lot of capabilities and good will among the students.
band one students. No really serious and big problems.
structures of management board and numerous committees and panels.
of Jesuits, and retired Fathers still teaching.
initiative and ingenuity and having a leading role in the development
of school computer applications and thorough and meticulous
computerisation for use and storage of much school information.
and lovely physical environment with a lot of green.
excellent and hard-working cleaning staff.
lot of resources among past students and parents and parishioners,
which can be
tapped more." Since then I have only grown in my esteem for
the openness and positive attitudes of our Principal, Mr. Norman
So, for his deep grasp of the Ignatian values in education, and
also for the great dedication of our Vice-principals and so many
teachers. Pioneering projects, like "Happy Wah Yan Boy", "Mentor
Scheme", "Journeying Together" reflect so many creative initiatives
in building the Wah Yan community.
It is true that there have been some changes since I came on the
scene. Aside from the morning hours, outsiders cannot come into
the campus as easily and freely as before. This change greatly
helps the security and cleanliness of the School.
Pastor of St. Ignatius Chapel also, I am glad to make the air-conditioned
and quiet Chapel available for more frequent morning assemblies.
This move may provide more opportunities for personal formation,
sharing and community-building.
are my hopes and dreams as the Supervisor of Wah Yan Kowloon?
I have always been an idealistic type of person, focussing on
how things can be better rather than regretting over the past.
So I am never short of ideas. Here I'll only select a few themes.
Catch up or become dinosaurs
'The whole world, or even the universe, is becoming so much one.'
There are huge transitions happening all around us. Not only are
we moving towards a new millennium in less than two years, but
more fundamentally, we are shifting from the predictable Newtonian
clock-like world, through Darwinian natural selection, Spencer's
fittest", Carnot's Second Law of Thermodynamics into that of the
unpredictable world of complexity, of order out of chaos, of self-organisation.
The whole world, or even the universe, is becoming so much one.
The "butterfly effect" (flutter of the wings of a butterfly in
Brazil may trigger snow-storm in Chicago or Europe), the El Nino
phenomenon which affects the weather world-wide . . . all indicate
how everything is intimately connected
with everything else. We cannot just talk about evolution, but
have to think in terms of co-evolution. Applied to organisations,
centralised and hierarchical control of power must eventually
yield to greater participation and democracy of shared responsibility.
We need to work towards a common destiny together.
We are also moving from the slow processes of the Print Age to
the Web Age of instant communication. ICQ (I seek-you), a venue
for simultaneous connection on the net, has one million additional
subscribers --- about every three weeks. The "Democracy Wall"
and the school magazine, traditional ways of teaching and learning
may all soon become relics of the print culture. If we don't catch
up in acquiring new world-views and ways of forming on-going learning
communities, we may all soon become dinosaurs of the Web Age.
2. Why do we still come back to school ?
If it is just information that we want to learn, a computer hooked
up to the Net will supply much more than what teachers can provide.
We can even learn some critical thinking through the debate in
the Internet discussion groups. But the school provides an indispensable
role to help us to grow as persons. The processes of discovering
and loving oneself, being true to one's feelings, learning how
to relate to others, forming good values, working in cooperation
with others, becoming authentic persons, building communities...
cannot take place in isolation at home.
I like the Japanese animation VCD set, Evangelion. It addresses
many of these soul-searching questions and issues that good education
must respond to. The moral and religious education in schools
must focus on helping students to really develop a sense of identity
and find the meaning and mission of their lives. The formation
in faith, in being able to see beyond with the eyes of love and
wonder, in going deeper than mere pragmatism, is a top priority
for education indeed.