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    SCMP Celebrating Hong Kong, Capturing the Legacy of YCIS

    School News

    15 Jun, 2013

    10 : 00

    • In an interview with Hong Kong’s premier English language newspaper, South China Morning Post which has the city’s most affluent and influential readership, and a reputation for authoritative, influential and independent reporting on Hong Kong and mainland China, Dr Betty Chan, Director of Yew Chung Education Foundation, told her family’s story of running education with a mission for 80 years.

      It all started with Dr Chan’s mother, a lasting legacy, Madam Tsang Chor-hang, who set up a school at the age of 16 with a mission of making China stronger through education. As a devoted Christian, Madam Tsang also believed that the best gift which we could give to children was helping them to get to know God. Committed to her mission, Madam Tsang became principal of Yew Chung when she was 19 years old despite all instability, poverty, and a civil war raging on the mainland. Some of her co-founders decided to leave because the school was running out of money; yet Madam Tsang insisted on keeping the school running even without taking any salary herself for years as she held the responsibility for the parents who had paid the school fees. “At that time, school fees were paid in rice. So even though there was nothing else left, they had rice to eat. They didn’t take any salary,” Dr Chan recalled one of the toughest moments her mother had so as to keep the school running.

      Yew Chung was forced to close down in 1939 due to the outbreak of the Second World War; it then reopened in 1945 and had its first batch of post-war graduates in 1946. After teaching for four decades, Madam Tsang retired. However her mission was not ended, it was passed to Dr Chan.

      Having studied in Yew Chung till Primary Four, Dr Chan always set a good example for her fellow students. After finished her training as a teacher in the US, and worked in a kindergarten operated by Caritas, Dr Chan eventually carried on her mother’s mission to open a nursery in Kowloon Tong in 1972, then a kindergarten, followed by the Primary section in 1985 and Secondary in 1992. She further established Yew Chung into a truly international school which developed its own international curriculum through an integration of different cultures, and a bilingual system in which both Chinese and English have the equal status. In Yew Chung International Schools (YCIS), there are co-principals, and co-teaching, one representing the Western culture, the other one Chinese.

      While keeping the passionate mission of education alive, Dr Chan has been sharing the family passion with the third generation, her niece, Lydia Chan who studied in Yew Chung when she was only 18 months old and was one of the first graduates of the International Baccalaureate programme started in 2000. Having attended in both Cambridge and Oxford universities, Lydia is now serving in YCIS and equipping herself not only to carry on her family mission of education but also to bring it to next level for more generations to come. ******************************************************************************************** The news article was published in South China Morning Post. See full article here.