"Innovation in education is most needed in our society," comments Chu Tsz-wing, the former principal of Baptist Rainbow Primary School (BRP). BRP School was once in a crisis of school closure due to a shortfall in enrollment. Chu picked up the hot potato and identified innovation as the only way out. He started to reform the curriculum, infrastructure, and even the mindset of every staff member of the school. “I keep asking WHY and strive for a breakthrough by finding the answers together with my team.” He refuses to adopt traditional teaching practices which are just not fit for present needs. He seeks new ideas to create a happy and proactive learning atmosphere. “Traditional education can only train up FOLLOWERS through excessive instructions, rules and drills. Innovation can raise DESIGNERS who drive changes in the future."
Along the journey of innovation, technology plays an important role in enhancing students’ interest in learning. A mobile app is used to give out virtual diamonds to students as encouragement for good behaviours. An electricity consumption gauge is installed to raise students’ awareness of environmental protection. Unlike what other schools in Hong Kong do, Chu throws away practices of drilling and over-loading assignments and reserves more time for students to pursue dreams. He introduced the DreamStarter programme to the school curriculum in 2016. Every student is to team up with others randomly and starts a one-year project turning dreams into reality. He believes this will equip students with the problem-solving capability to overcome future challenges. "It's pointless to make every project succeed; an experience of failure is equally valuable to students." Encouraging students to pursue dreams, teaching them to learn from failure and grow, to make changes, to contribute to society and to collaborate, are the keys to education innovation as exemplified by BRP School and its principal.
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