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The 18th Caring School Award Scheme Emerging from the Pandemic: Over 400 Schools Promote Student Wellbeing

Date: 27/05/2023

Over the past three years, the pandemic has posed many challenges to students' well-being. Organised by the Hong Kong Christian Service (HKCS), the Caring School Award Scheme (the Scheme), themed ‘Holistic Care for Wellbeing’ in the school year of 2022, recognises the efforts of over 400 schools in promoting the wellbeing of their students. Returning to a face-to-face format, this year's awards ceremony was successfully held today (27 May) at the Education Bureau Kowloon Tong Education Services Centre, with over 100 school representatives in attendance. The ceremony featured a keynote speech by renowned psychiatrist Dr TSANG Fan-kwong, entitled ‘Care for Wellbeing in Schools’, which encouraged teachers to prioritise their own wellbeing in order to effectively care for their students. He emphasised that ‘with happy teachers, there will be happy students.’

Overcoming the 5thWave of COVID-19 with Innovative Cultivation of a Caring Culture

In 2022, schools in Hong Kong experienced the unprecedented ‘special break’ due to the 5th wave of COVID-19, which disrupted the normal campus life. Amid online and face-to-face classes, weekdays and holidays, the education sector made every effort to maintain normal campus life and take care of students' well-being. For example, a kindergarten promoted health and environmental protection through initiatives such as ‘Green Monday’ and ‘Fruit Day’. They also composed a health-themed song to help children remember health tips. A primary school implemented ‘Smiling Eye’ activity, encouraging students to express their smiles in different ways while wearing masks. A secondary school established a special group to drive campus-wide initiatives to care for students' wellbeing, fostering a sustainable culture of care. A special school fearlessly embraced the complexities and difficulties of their students' circumstances. Led by the principal, they adopted an ‘embracing students’ approach, accepting and accommodating students' past experiences and building a caring campus together.


Ms LAU Tit-mui, Principal of LST Leung Kau Kui Primary School (Branch), recalled that her school had participated in the Scheme for over a decade. The process has enabled teachers to review and improve their caring initiatives each year, and receiving the award has endorsed their efforts. She stated that each individual in the school taking proactive caring actions was crucial to creating an overall caring atmosphere. She believed in the power of influence, that if teachers showed care for students, students would be inspired and learn to care for others.


Everyone Involved in Caring for Students amid Public Concerns over Mental Health

The mental health of Hong Kong's students has received increasing attention in recent years. As the society emerges from the shadow of the pandemic, schools have resumed full-day face-to-face classes, presenting new challenges for students. Ms Apple TSE, Deputy Director (Youth & Social Rehabilitation) of HKCS, said ‘the number of schools awarded under the Scheme continues to increase every year, which is very encouraging. HKCS has always been concerned about the growth of students, and learning about the various caring actions taken by schools, both large and small, reaffirms our commitment to caring for their development.’

 

Teachers are among the people who have the most interaction with students. Therefore, HKCS considers schools as important partners and has been working with them for over a decade to build a caring campus together. Ms Apple TSE continued by acknowledging the challenging work of teachers during the pandemic and shared a memorable anecdote from this year's evaluation, ‘A principal of an award-winning school encouraged teachers to “get everyone involved” in caring for students. In response, one teacher said, “Principal, it's not that everyone will participate, it's that everyone will lead!” Their sense of responsibility to the students was truly moving.’


The Scheme is now in its 18thyear. After comprehensive assessments by the adjudicators, the winners for the ‘Holistic Care for Wellbeing’ theme awards are as follows:

 

  Kindergarten Primary School Secondary School 特殊學校組Special School
Theme Awards: ‘Holistic Care for Wellbeing’ NTWJWA Pok Hong Nursery School LST Leung Kau Kui Primary School (Branch) The Methodist Church HK Wesley College Caritas Pelletier School
*Another 11 schools received merit awards.


For media enquiries, please contact:

Ms Sherry HON, Service Head, School Social Work Service (Tel: 2389 4242)

Ms Ivy CHUNG, Service Supervisor, School Social Work Service (Tel: 2389 4242)

Mr Don CHENG, Corporate Communication Executive (Information) (Tel: 2731 6263)

 

 

  • Ms Yvonne CHAK (7th Left), the Director of HKCS, Dr TSANG Fan-kwong (8th Left), Dr Esther HO (9th Left), the Chairperson of Hong Kong Association of Careers Masters and Guidance Masters, and Ms Jennifer YOUNG (6th Left), the Principal Inspector (Guidance & Discipline) of Education Bureau attended the ceremony with other guests.

  • Dr TSANG Fan-kwong gave a sharing about ‘Care for Wellbeing in Schools’.

  • Ms CHEUNG (2nd Left), the Principal, received the theme award for the kindergarten group on behalf of the NTWJWA Pok Hong Nursery School from Dr Esther HO (3rd Left), the Chairperson of Hong Kong Association of Careers Masters and Guidance Masters.

  • Mr Michael MOK (2nd Left), the Chancellor, received the theme award for the primary school group on behalf of the LST Leung Kau Kui Primary School (Branch) from Ms Jennifer YOUNG (3rd Left), the Principal Inspector (Guidance & Discipline) of Education Bureau.

  • Mr NAM Ching-sze (3rd Left), the Principal, received the theme award for the secondary school group on behalf of the Methodist Church HK Wesley College from Ms Karen YIU (2nd Left), the Chief Officer (Children & Youth Service) of The Hong Kong Council of Social Service.

  • Ms CHIM In-leng (2nd Left), the Principal, received the theme award for the special school group on behalf of Caritas Pelletier School from Ms Apple TSE (3rd Left), the Deputy Director (Youth & Social Rehabilitation) of HKCS.