HK Christian group honors schools for student welfare

Some 400 schools are part of a scheme that promotes the holistic well-being of students

May 30, 2023

Representatives of LST Leung Kau Kui Primary School in Hong Kong pose for a photo after receiving an award for promoting student welfare. (Photo: Hong Kong Christian Services)

A Christian charity in Hong Kong has honored schools including those run by Catholic and Protestant churches for promoting the holistic welfare of students including ensuring mental well-being during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Hong Kong Christian Service (HKCS) named 11 schools as recipients of its merit award for 2022, the group said in a press statement. Representatives from more than 100 schools attended the event on May 27.

The award winners were among 400 schools that are part of HKCS’s Caring School Award Scheme for the ‘Holistic Care for the Well being’ of students that began in 2005.

The schools have continued to promote the well-being of students despite the pandemic posing many challenges over the past three years, HKCS said.

Tsang Fan-kwong, a renowned psychiatrist, presented a keynote speech on “Care for Well-being in Schools.”

He encouraged teachers to prioritize their own well-being in order to effectively care for their students and emphasized that "with happy teachers, there will be happy students."

During the unprecedented long break due to the pandemic, schools in Hong Kong adopted an "Innovative Cultivation of a Caring Culture" for students despite the disruption to campus life, the HKCS said.

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 a "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' well-being, fostering a sustainable culture of care.

A special school embraced the complexities and difficulties of its students' circumstances. Led by the principal, they adopted an "embracing students" approach, accepting and accommodating students' past experiences and building a caring campus together.

Lau Tit-mui, principal of LST Leung Kau Kui Primary School, said her school had participated in the HKCS 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 said.

She said that everyone in the school taking proactive caring actions was crucial to creating an overall caring atmosphere.

The scheme has particularly addressed public concerns over mental health.

The group 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,” said Apple Tse, a deputy director of HKCS.

She noted that teachers developed a sense of responsibility in caring for students over the years.

A principal of an award-winning school encouraged teachers to “get everyone involved” in caring for students, she said.

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,” she

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