Alumni Linkage — OU People

Alumni Communication & Support Alumni Linkage Past Issues March 2019 Issue Alumni Linkage — OU People

Principal Ricky Ng has for years devoted himself to primary education, advocating happy learning and a 'no homework day' every week, making him an initiator of the concept of 'happy school'. With Principal Ng's graduation from the Bachelor of Education with Honours in Primary Education programme in 2004 and his son's completion of the Diploma in Health Studies (Community Health Care) last year, the two have both become alumni of the OUHK. 'My son doesn't have a smooth learning path, a bit similar to what happened to me. So I suggested that he enroll at the OUHK,' he said. Principal Ng's study and career paths had been circuitous before he embarked on his OUHK studies. It was a critical decision which helped straighten out his career path and was particularly meaningful to him.

From tortuous journey to plain sailing

Principal Ng's academic result was just average when he was young and he felt like a total loser. A turning point came when a teacher in senior secondary school noticed that his Chinese language level was above average and encouraged him to work hard in this direction. Principal Ng went to work in a bank after matriculation. At that time, he found his dream of becoming a teacher remained unchanged. He quitted his job and after several twists and turns, he enrolled in a tertiary institution to study Chinese and graduated with distinction. However, it wasn't easy to get a teaching job and he only succeeded after attempting self-recommendation to a Buddhist primary school. In the following year, the number of classes was reduced but luckily he got transferred to another Buddhist primary school. Principal Ng later completed a Diploma in Education and a master's degree in Chinese literature at the same time, but he still did not have a locally-recognized bachelor's degree in education. In view of the raging trend of class reduction then, he felt strongly that the future was unpredictable and decided to enroll at the OUHK in 2001.

Despite being a part-time student, Principal Ng took several courses every semester. He worked hard to complete all assignments and never missed a tutorial class. 'OUHK studies have trained me how to manage time and strengthened my capability to learn on my own. The study programme has greatly broadened my knowledge,' he said. He obtained the qualification of a primary school graduate teacher soon after graduation and was gradually promoted to the post of principal. What he learnt at the OUHK has been put to good use.

Happy learning for everybody

With no outstanding achievement in any area, Principal Ng felt fortunate to have got encouragement and enlightenment from a good teacher who guided him towards some accomplishments in Chinese language studies and inspired him to choose teaching as his vocation. 'My experience has led me to believe that every child is gifted and has potential, and should be carefully nurtured, so that they can get prepared for the future and develop their potential,' he said. Principal Ng became the principal of Buddhist Chung Wah Kornhill Primary School in 2014. Taking the helm for the first time, he put his innovative ideas into practice with the introduction of schemes such as 'school-based gifted development', 'physical and artistic skills for life' and 'no homework happy Wednesday'. He has made it a 'happy school' where children can develop their talents, got support from many parents and community, and led it to avoid the crisis of under-enrollment as well.

Last September, Principal Ng returned to Buddhist Lim Kim Tian Memorial Primary School where he had served for many years. However, he refused to repeat his successful strategy elsewhere. He decided to build on the fine traditions of the School and the characteristics of the surrounding community, with the introduction of various talent cultivation projects, such as English boxing course, talent show and English-speaking day, so as to encourage both teachers and students to develop their potential. 'My second life as a leader seems have been ignited,' he said with a smile.

In 2016, Principal Ng was honoured at the ceremony of the Second Award for Excellence in Administration organized by the Hong Kong Council for Educational Administration. Feeling that this was his first award in life, he was full of gratitude when he delivered the thank-you speech. 'I expressed deep thanks to my teacher and parents. When I mentioned my appreciation of my wife's support over the years, I could no longer stifle my tears,' he said. Having served as a teacher for 24 years and accomplished quite a lot already, Principal Ng's passion for teaching is still as strong as before. 'I shall try my best to develop the strengths of students and create a joyful learning environment so that teachers, students, parents and I can all improve themselves. My motto is: stay true to yourself and never forget why you started', he said.