In the English language, the etymological root of the word education is the Latin term e-ducere which means to “draw out the potential of an individual.” I find this an immensely helpful way to think of education. It reminds us that the potential for knowledge and success already lies within us, and it is up to everyone involved in the education process to realize this potential. To draw out the potential of each student is jointly the responsibility of not only the teacher, but also the student. However, the responsibility does not end there. It is also the responsibility of the parent. Not only must parents help their children by sending them to the school most likely to draw out the potential still dormant within the child, they also play an important direct role of education. Education does not happen solely within the confines of the classroom. The work habits and values that students learn at home, the so called “informal aspects of education” play a major determining role in a child’s success in life.
But the responsibility does not even end here! As a society, we are responsible for leading each of our members to achieve his or her potential as a fellow contributor to our community. An investment in education is an investment in the future of Hong Kong. It is our responsibility, therefore, not only to support education, but to be responsible role models for the next generation. After all, the potential for success that lies in the youth of Hong Kong is the single greatest natural resource that we have. What a shame it would be to let the resource go to waste. So, I invite everyone to consider, what can you do, be it as a teacher, student, parent or as a member of society, to help Hong Kong draw out the potential of its students, and thereby, itself.
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