Speakers’ Forum 2017

The Rev. Brother Paul Sun Education Foundation Speakers’ Forum is a series of charitable fund-raising events presenting a distinguished key-note speaker on each occasion speaking on topical issues. Speakers’ Forum 2017 took place on the evening of September 29, 2017. This time, the forum was held at the Hong Kong Bankers Club. The speaker on this occasion was Dr. Simon Leung, Vice Chairman and Executive Director of NetDragon Websoft Holdings Limited.

This year, a new item had been added to the usual program, which was a fund-raising art exhibition before the main event. Guests started to arrive at 6 p.m. The exhibits included Chinese calligraphy and paintings as well as oil paintings. Despite being the first time, this initiative proved to be very successful, bringing in over $40,000 for the Foundation.

The dinner venue became increasingly lively as more guests began to arrive. They were introduced to Dr. Leung, who was especially pleased to meet teachers and students. Guests of the evening included the usual supporters of the Forum as well as some new faces. Many were alumni and students of St. Joseph’s Anglo-Chinese School, as well as their friends and family.

At around 7.30pm, Mr. Andrew Li, Chairman of the Forum gave a welcome address. He introduced the Foundation, its mission and activities including the Speakers’ Forum, and acknowledged the several artists who had so generously given their works of art to support the event, namely Mr. Mak Hon Kuen, Ms. Maybelle Li, Ms. Angela Chan, and Ms. Elaine Tsui. He went on to acknowledge the official sponsors, namely Carefree Finance Co. Ltd., Bright Smart Securities International (HK) Ltd., and law firm, Kwok, Ng & Chan. Mr. Li also mentioned those who regrettably could not attend but had given generously nevertheless.

At Mr. Li’s invitation, Mr. Dominic Chu, Supervisor of St. Joseph’s Anglo-Chinese School addressed the party and also led a prayer to bless the gathering. At around 8:00pm, it was time to introduce the Speaker Dr. Simon Leung (Class of ’72, SJACS). Mr. Li called upon Mr. Peter Poon, a well-known and widely respected consultant civil engineer, who was also in his Class of ’72. It was a lively introduction, very in-depth, revealing the Speaker’s background of substantial knowledge and experience in IT as well as education, making him highly qualified to speak on the topic chosen on this occasion. With the advent of the AI Age, the way knowledge is imparted and acquired may be seeing some fundamental changes, going away from the traditional classroom model. Indeed, for many in the audience, they had come for valuable insights - straight from the horse’s mouth.

The Speaker began with the very title of his address: “To Teach or Not to Teach (教與育)”. Dr. Leung attempted to throw some light on how he saw education could be changed with the help of IT. The traditional way is a one-size-fit-all model, in which all students learn the same curriculum and at the same pace. Teachers constantly perform soul-destroying repetitive work. Today, education needs “disruption” and “innovation”. Dr. Leung referred to new concepts such as “deep learning” and “personalization.” With the help of IT, students can find interesting rich contents and progress at their own pace. They can do more home studies and acquire knowledge outside of schools. Teachers’ task would be mainly to motivate and guide. Dr. Leung pointed out that for all sorts of reasons, change would not come easy. The cost of education per student would need to come down, and the government must take a leading role in ushering in reforms. However, he gave the encouraging comment that Hong Kong, with a relatively small number of schools in a very condensed area, could perhaps stand a good chance of success.

All in all, the Speaker managed to leave the audience with a note of optimism and a sense of anticipation for change - for the better. He concluded his talk amid rapturous applause and went on to answer a whole host of thought-provoking questions from the audience. After question time, the Forum Chair gave a vote of thanks to the Speaker. This was followed by a busy photo-taking session. The event concluded at 10:00pm.

It was quite an enjoyable evening for everyone. To cap it off, a total of some $180,000 was raised, making Speakers’ Forum 2017 yet another success for the Foundation.

Speaker's Forum held on 29 September 2017 with Dr. Simon Leung speaking on "To Teach or not to Teach"

Posted by Rev. Bro. Paul Sun Education Foundation on Wednesday, October 4, 2017