28 October 2016
Tam Yat-yuk, principal of Pui Ching Middle School, says teaching is a godly calling. Photo: HKEJ
Tam Yat-yuk, principal of Pui Ching Middle School, says teaching is a godly calling. Photo: HKEJ

How a godly calling led this man to a topnotch middle school

Founded in 1889, Pui Ching Middle School has been nurturing bright young Hong Kong people.

Outstanding alumni include Nobel physics laureate Daniel Tsui Chee, renowned mathematician Yau Shing-tung and former chief secretary for administration Henry Tang Ying-yen.

Tam Yat-yuk, who became school principal in September, is also a product of the prestigious co-ed government-subsidized school.

Tam has been an educator for more than 35 years, serving as principal of a Baptist secondary school in Tuen Mun for almost two decades before joining his high school alma mater.

He first aspired to be an engineer.

Majoring in Physics at the Chinese University of Hong Kong, he completed most of the required courses for electronic engineering so he could shift to a degree program the following academic year.

A teaching stint in a Sunday school was a turning point.

“Church instructors told me about a class that was particularly naughty and inattentive. They were wrong,” he said.

“I was glad to see the students grow closer to one another. They made my job such a joy.”

Tam saw the job as a godly calling. He went on to become a science teacher after finishing physics with a math minor.

In his early days in Pui Ching, Tam was in charge of the school’s athletic team, which gave him an opportunity to bond with students outside the classroom.

“If I hadn’t gone into athletics, I wouldn’t have been able to lead the athletics team. I’m grateful for the opportunity.”

The school colors — red and blue — say it all, where the former stands for passion and the latter a sense of calm.

Loyalty is ingrained, with students typically spending an average of 15 years in the school from kindergarten to high school.

Which is why silver anniversary celebrations are special but not rare, Tam said.

“We have at least 100 attendees at these anniversaries. Alumni would make time for them, no matter how busy they might be.”

But Tam said alumni do more than mark special occasions.

They have been actively supporting school activities and donating money toward new buildings and equipment.

Pui Ching Middle School has been selected as one of eight partner schools for an information technology training program for Secondary Two to Secondary Six students for the next seven years.

Tam said it’s a recognition from the government of the school’s excellence in IT education.

This article appeared in the Hong Kong Economic Journal on Oct. 12.

Translation by Darlie Yiu

[Chinese version中文版]

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Tam Yat-yuk poses with Red Cross student volunteers at a swimming gala. Photo: HKEJ

IT education is one of the pillars of Pui Ching Middle School. It’s one of eight schools tapped for a speclai IT training program. Photo: HKEJ

Pui Ching Middle School hosts a variety events to promote loyalty and hone talent. Photo: HKEJ

Tam Yat-yuk (second from right, front row) is shown with other members of the school’s Christian fellowship in this file picture. Photo: HKEJ

Writer of the Hong Kong Economic Journal

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