Encouraging Prospective Teachers
Another long-term benefactor of the Faculty is the Hong Kong Equilibrium Cultural Education Foundation (EQ Foundation) which has given significant support for two decades, particularly in the form of scholarships.
The Equilibrium Cultural Education Prize is awarded to the final year student in the Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Education in Language Education (English) [BA&BEd LangEd)-Eng] programme who has achieved the best overall results in the curriculum. Mr Robert Chan founded the Foundation in the late 1990s in order to support worthwhile causes in society. In the past 20 years, the Foundation, of which he is now Chair of the Board of Governors, has been offering scholarships to secondary students from remote villages in mainland China and university students in Beijing.
“The Prize at the Faculty of Education of HKU started in early 2000,” said Mr Chan. “I believed English language teachers were very important to our schools, both primary and secondary. A good foundation in English language is crucial to our students. I hoped the Prize would provide some encouragement to our prospective teachers at the Faculty. In fact, four of the eight papers in my BA degree course at HKU were related to English.”
One of Mr Chan’s earliest endeavours was spearheading the promotion of learning classical Chinese Literature at primary schools as an after school programme from 1997 to 2007. “Sponsored by the EQ Foundation, I had the full support of Professor Tse Shek Kam, then Associate Dean of the Faculty, as our programme advisor. He rendered much valuable direction and advice to the programme.”
Mr Chan has also been a staunch supporter of experiential learning at the Faculty: “I believe in exposure and getting field experience for all kinds of professions, education is no exception,” he said, summing up the EQ Foundation’s commitment to backing teacher education in Hong Kong.