CMA Choi Cheung Kok Secondary School – 38th Speech Day
Organised by CMA Choi Cheung Kok Secondary School
Speech by Mr Ricky CHU Man-kin, Chairperson, Equal Opportunities Commission
Good afternoon everyone! It is my great honour to attend the Speech Day of CMA Choi Cheung Kok Secondary School today, and share the joy of graduation with fellow students. Every time I attend these school celebrations and events, I have feelings of deep emotions. For my first job after graduating from the university was being a secondary school teacher, so I always feel gratified to see students accomplish their academic studies.
For all of you graduates, graduating from secondary school is not only an end point of study, but also a new beginning of your life journey. You will soon bid farewell to your familiar campus, teachers and classmates. Whether you continue your studies or enter the workforce, you will open a new chapter in your life and embark on a new journey, spreading your wings and soaring high to the sky.
Speaking of flying, I know that your school emblem is an eagle. I also know that your school’s recent paper aircraft event broke the Guinness World Record. This activity brought everyone together, and achieved a record of folding more than 21,000 paper airplanes in just one hour, which was truly amazing.
I am sure all of us played with paper planes when we were little. Every time when we released a folded plane, we hoped that it would fly high and far. I wasn’t good at science in secondary school, so I don’t quite understand the scientific principles behind fluid mechanics and flying by the winds. But when it comes to how to fly high and far in life, I do have a few points to share with you. After all, I have been travelling on life’s journey for quite some decades.
Firstly, I would like to share with you a Chinese idiom, “Those who do not plan for the future will find trouble at one’s doorstep”. It is crucial to have a broad vision and set for yourself long-term goals as early as possible. As ZHUGE Liang said, “Aim high and far”. Your life should be directed towards broad purpose and objectives, which will guide your focus and help you sustain the momentum in life. You are living in one of the greatest times, when our country is actively propelling the development of the Greater Bay Area and the Belt and Road Initiative. With the advantages of “enjoying strong support of the Motherland and being closely connected to the world”, Hong Kong has infinite opportunities for development. I hope all of you will seize the opportunities ahead of you and make a contribution to Hong Kong and our country.
Next, I would like to share with you a phrase, “Don’t be puffed up by success or dismayed by failure”. People need adversity to truly grow and get stronger. At some point in your life, you may encounter difficulties. As long as you stay resilient and persevere, you will be able to rise above the challenges and emerge out of the storm even stronger. As the Chinese saying goes, “There will be no fragrant plum blossoms without freezing cold weather”.
Dear students, when you stand high and look far, you will realise that the world is vast and diverse, bringing together different races, skin colours, and cultures. In fact, as an old saying goes, “all rivers run into the sea”. I hope that you can have a broad mindset that can accommodate differences, embrace and respect diverse cultures and viewpoints, and treat others with kindness, working together to build a caring and inclusive community.
Speaking of diversity and inclusion, Choi Cheung Kok Secondary School has always been an active promoter of diversity and inclusion, enabling students of different races, cultures, and backgrounds to grow and learn together. The school’s educational philosophy is indeed highly commendable. In this era of globalisation, more and more companies are coming to realise that diverse talents can promote innovation and sustainable development. The ability to effectively communicate and cooperate with people of different cultural backgrounds will be an important soft skill. I believe that all of you, equipped with the education from your alma mater, have already mastered this skill and can make good use of it in the future.
What is even more commendable is that Choi Cheung Kok Secondary School has taken active steps to address the specific needs of students, as part of their inclusion effort. Teachers design and provide appropriate curricula for students with different levels of Chinese proficiency, ensuring that ethnic minority students do not lose interest in learning Chinese due to differences in learning progress. Such intervention or assistance helps non-Chinese-speaking students pursue further education and employment, integrate into society and make meaningful contribution. In addition, during the pandemic, the school specially assigned teachers to assist cross-border students, facilitating newly arrived students to integrate into campus life.
On 21 March this year, riding on International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination, the Equal Opportunities Commission rolled out a number of initiatives to promote a racially inclusive culture. Choi Cheung Kok Secondary School also responded to the call and participated in our “Racially Friendly Campus Recognition Scheme”, along with over 60 primary and secondary schools. I know that in March, a special activity related to food culture was organised in your school. You all had a chance to taste different foods from around the world, learning more about different cultures, histories and perspectives. In December last year, your school also organised an event in celebration of multiculturalism, in which students wore traditional costumes to perform, and there were booths teaching Chinese calligraphy, allowing non-Chinese students to gain a deeper understanding of Chinese culture.
The EOC is very impressed to see Choi Cheung Kok Secondary School actively promoting racial diversity and inclusion. We hope that the School would share its successful experiences in implementing racially friendly education, and continue to work with the EOC and the education sector to co-create a racially friendly campus and society.
Here, I would like to thank CMA and Choi Cheung Kok Secondary School again for inviting me to share the joy with fellow graduates. Dear graduates, you are the future pillars of Hong Kong and our country. You will be the ones who drive future social development. I hope you will stay strong and resilient, no matter what kinds of jobs and roles you take up. In closing, I would like to offer my heartfelt congratulations to all graduates and wish them all the best in their future endeavours. And I wish you all good health and happiness. Thank you.