The Hong Kong Direct Subsidy Scheme Schools Expo 2019, which took place in November, offered parents and prospective students a chance to explore education options outside mainstream government-run or aided schools. This year’s edition of the popular annual event attracted 3,900 attendees and included eight information sessions, two panel discussions and 40 exhibition booths. Of the 75 DSS schools in Hong Kong, a record 38 had booths at the expo this time around.
The main aim of the event is to offer insights on current trends and developments in the local education scene, while also providing the opportunity to interact directly with principals and teachers. Organised by the Hong Kong Direct Subsidy Scheme Schools Council (DSSSC) and Young Post, the expo also acts as forum where the council can present its views and individual schools can explain their specific vision and mission.
One parent, Wilson Wan, whose daughter is currently in Primary 4, spoke at length with representatives from several schools which he is now actively considering.
“I like the fact that the expo has a good selection of schools, and everything is arranged in an orderly way,” Wan said. “That saves a lot of time for people like me when checking out the basic information.”
His conversations with teachers and students allowed him to learn about the particular strengths and characteristics of individual schools, which ordinarily can be difficult to do.
Wan’s views were echoed by Lo Wai-shing, the chief principal of Evangel College.
“Nowadays, parents are well prepared when it comes to planning their children’s education. They want to know if the school ‘walks the talk’, which they can do by meeting the teaching staff. This is the essence of the expo.”
At the various information sessions, school representatives covered a wide-range of topics which included diverse learning for future challenges; learning and growing with STEM education; and positive attitudes for children. There were also more DSS-specific topics which centred on how to choose the right school and provided practical tips regarding the admission process.
The first of the panel discussions focused on the respective roles of schools and parents in helping children face new challenges. The speakers, Chiu Cheung-ki, principal of Chan Shu Kui Memorial School, Paul Cho, principal of HKCCCU Logos Academy, and Ian Tsang, education consultant, shared their own experiences with the audience touching on issues that ranged from proper communication to the importance of reading.
The second panel discussion looked at how to make learning fun and noted the need to let students “follow their hearts” to a certain extent. The speakers, Lo Wai-shing of Evangel College, Christina Wong, principal of HKUGA Primary School, and Leung Wai-lok, children education columnist, outlined how children learn in small increments and how they generally do better if the learning environment is fun.
Ray Tsang, whose eight-year-old daughter currently studies at an international school, found the panel discussions informative and inspiring. “It was also good to learn about the diversity of DSS schools, because there is always a possibility my daughter will enrol in one in future,” he said.
The HKDSSSC Expo 2019 was held 10-Nov-2018.