24 May 2018
Dear Parents and Students,
From May 14th to 19th, I attended a “Leadership Class for the Principals of Hong Kong Primary and Secondary Schools” (2017/18), held by the EDB at the Chinese Academy of Governance in Beijing. The six-day course helped around 50 primary and secondary school principals to better understand China’s economic, political, educational, cultural, technological, and high-speed rail development. It was a precious experience that stimulated my personal reflections and promoted communication among principals, helping us to optimize our leadership skills and educational outcomes.
The most memorable experience of this trip was the Cultural Forum at the Palace Museum. Why was it so special? The Palace Museum has accumulated thousands of years of Chinese culture and reflects thousands of years of human civilization. It has witnessed the rise and fall of the Ming and Qing dynasties. It nourishes the spiritual homeland of the Chinese nation with its rich beauty, grandeur, and culture. In fact, I visited the Palace Museum on the “Family Tour to Beijing” held by the PTA three weeks ago. On that trip I found that the Forbidden City was very different from a decade ago. Whether it is the meticulous construction of a refurbished building, or the flow of people, the cleanliness, leisure facilities or the IT development which has been greatly enhanced, this museum is now demonstrably among the best in the world.
This visit to the museum was very different from my previous ones. In the past, I was mostly attracted to the glory of the Forbidden City but this time I attended a lecture by Dr Shan Jixiang, the Palace Museum Director. Dr Shan has an ambitious vision for the Palace Museum beyond what has already been achieved. In the last 5 years, the palace has been transformed by his clear mind, strategic planning, insight, the courage to change and reform and most of all his boundless enthusiasm.
To fulfil his vision, he assembled a team of experts to upgrade the way that history is presented. There is user – centred optimization of the environment and new high – end modern science and technology displays. With optimization of logistical procedures and the provision of ground – breaking exhibits, displays of traditional culture are designed to entertain and intrigue. All in all, after 5 years work, the Palace Museum has been reborn.
While he was speaking of all of this, I was struck by Dr Shan’s modesty as much as by his inspiration and achievement. This has profoundly encouraged me, as principal of Pooi To, not to fear thorns but have the courage to take risks and face challenges for the sake of achieving excellence in Pooi To. If you have the opportunity to visit the Palace Museum, do spend more time understanding history, but also appreciate every detail and design of the different places in the complex. In the near future, the National Palace Museum of Hong Kong will be opened in West Kowloon in Hong Kong. It will provide a valuable opportunity for us to better understand our shared Chinese history. I can’t wait.