Tin Shui Wai English Tutorial Project
This Project was started in Tin Shui Wai (TSW), a new town about an hour’s travel from Tsim Sha Tsui, in April 2015 by a group of WYHK 1971 alumni. Many residents there are new immigrants from China living in low cost public housing. Common to poorer areas in HK, many family and social issues including domestic violence, mental illness and suicide did occur. Fortunately, street violence or gang related crimes are rare. While the HK Government has continuously improved social services to this new town, discussions with local principals and social workers revealed that many TSW students are far behind the average standard in HK in their studies, in particular English, because of lack of guidance and support at home.
As Wah Yan (WY) graduates, we uphold the ‘Men for and with Others’ spirit to help the needy in society. Given the situation in TSW, we decided to provide a free onsite tutorial service to help students in Forms 2 to 4 whose parents are receiving public assistance and therefore cannot afford to send their kids to private tutorial classes even if they are promising but academically behind. Our program does not aim to produce outstanding students (though possible with our continual intervention) but help students concerned to improve their grade, guide them to become responsible citizens and hopefully lead them to climb the social ladder like us. Our objectives are to give back to society what we have taken from it and spread the Jesuit spirit and WY education, which we all have benefited, to a needy group in society.
Incidentally, a year after we started our project, tycoon Li Ka Shing granted every Form 6 TSW student an unconditional financial subsidy of $5,000 thus reinforcing our belief that TSW is an area which rightly deserves our help.
Beginning with a group of around 80 students served by 12 alumni tutors in 2015, the free onsite tutorial program has grown to benefit over 600 students served by over 60 alumni tutors cumulatively upon the completion of its fifth intake in June 2017.
After hosting three intakes and serving some 300 students, the project was endorsed by the Wah Yan One Family Foundation in September 2016 and became a charity to which all donations are tax deductible.
In December 2016 and with the help of 10 overseas and local alumni who either spoke or used English daily in their country of residence or profession, a second free online oral English program was introduced to help 60 Forms 5 and 6 TSW students practice oral English online with a free apps with the hope to improve their grade in their upcoming oral English examination in the Diploma of Secondary Examination.
While we shall continue to recruit TSW students and alumni as tutors for the two programs above for another intake starting from October 2017, a group of seasoned WYK alumni and their wives will join force to start a third free Life Planning program to provide advice to under-privileged Form 6 TSW students who will be looking for jobs after graduation. With little or even no family support and social connection, they desperately need help to find and secure jobs. By providing them with interactive career talks and job attachments, mentors in this new program will enable the students to better understand the various occupations and choices available, increase their ability and competitiveness in hunting for jobs that match with their interest and personality, and hopefully help them strive for upward mobility in the long term.
How You can Help
We hope you can either participate as a tutor or mentor or make a donation to support this worthy project. You can also help by drawing this project to the attention of alumni who you have contact and encourage them to do the same. Details of our three programs and donation form can be found in our website in the link: http://tswetp.wahyanhk1971.org
Enrollment forms for the onsite and online programs are also available on the website above.
Our tutors come from both WYHK and WYK, young (WYK ’88) and old (WYK ’63), and from all walks of life like doctor, lawyer, accountant, banker, IT professional, engineer, civil servant, retiree, undergraduate, etc. Most of them do not have teaching experience but given proper training and guidance, they are all more than capable of discharging their duties. You can also recommend your wife, children, relatives and close friends who you consider suitable to serve as tutor or mentor, though alumni will be given priority.
If you have any questions on any of our three programs or want to get more information, please contact the appropriate co-ordinator below;
General — Daniel Mak (WYHK ’71) at reti[email protected]
Onsite Program — Chris Ng (WYHK ’71) at [email protected]
Online Program — Tak Eng (WYHK ’71) at [email protected]
Life Planning Program — Helen Lok at [email protected]
Enclosure – Letter from WYOFF:
[Last update: 20170708, 20170607, 20170105]