面對事實

面對事實 The real reason of my strike – Enlightenment is what we need.

Many people mistaken that I strike because of the banning of the Vocablearning project by the school. The principal (Mr. George Tam) also uses the same excuse to misguide the public that I strike for this unreal reason.

道天地將法,智仁勇信嚴 – 孫子兵法

Vocablearning project is only a method (法) used to close the well-proven performance gap 1 2 that the principal always denies.

I am here striking for core value (道), in particular, honesty. The principal tells lies constantly to misguide different parties, including the school supervisor, the school management committee, teachers, parents, students and the public that the performance gap is not present.

He keeps contriving figures and switching the subject of the statistical data in his deceiving act. Reference : How to tell lies with statistics pg131-142  Mr Tam has great incentive to lie about the figures otherwise he has to be held accountable for the very negative value-addedness of the students in his over 15 years of principalship. As a has-been insider of the school in charge of academic, I have all the raw data of the intake and performance of the students. These are the undeniable evidence to my conclusion that the school owes the wahyanites a performance gap that is worth at least HK$38,000,000-50,000,000 a year. More importantly, my data has been verified by the Mr. Tam before publication while Mr. Tam’s claim has never been verified by anybody including me or any colleagues in charge of academic records of the school. His figures have no chance in withstanding any simply scrutiny.

His deceiving act makes all parties mentioned making their judgment based on false premises. No matter what your opinion is on what the school is doing or what I am doing, the judgment should be based on facts. Basically, almost all man-made economic crises ever happened in history start with lies.

If everybody knows the facts before making their judgment, I wouldn’t mind even no student adopting the vocablearning exercise at all.

Enlightenment is what we really need. Without enlightenment, Dark Ages will never end and Renaissance will never come.

I understand that my radical action creates disturbance to many different parties. But for a patient with terminal illness whom is not responsive to any medicines, surgery may be the only viable option other than euthanasia.

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    • Mr. Anonymous on 8 February, 2012 at 5:11 am
    • Reply

    Dear Mr. Yip,

    I watched the online news and know you’ve got an iPad-like device with you – which is excellent. I’m really worried about your health. Wah Yan is only a family second to your own family. Your wife, daughter and sons are second to none. They’re the ones truly worthy of your love. I have nearly 4 meals every day thanks to my mom but you’ve already skipped 6 thanks to Wah Yan. It’s freezing cold at home and I can’t imagine how you feel in Queen’s Road East.

    I read through the articles you’ve written in your publication. The material inside the booklet is not easy to comprehend to average people. Your ideas are therefore not effectively delivered to them. At least, as a visitor or user of your software, I should be given a diagram or flowchart showing exactly how a new word can be learnt and retained in mind in future. Moreover, your software is different in that it speeds up the learning and memorization process. Why don’t you try to tell the users that learning words through the website is so much similar to learning in classroom but it’s different only in the speed? This will make them feel more comfortable as normal people are not receptive to drastic changes. I know you’re not doing a lucrative business and won’t turn it into one, but I’m afraid it’s necessary to describe a quality learning tool or product in full as a teacher or a programmer. This will allows people to use it with ease and less worrisome thoughts. Perhaps they’re not native to the digital world and your world.

    Besides, I’m interested in English learning and that’s why I know what grammar, usage, vocabulary, collocations, phrasal verbs, idioms and sentence structures mean in English. That’s also the reason for my support for your software. I’m amazed at your organizational skills as you can gather most, if not all, of the information concerning each word on one single page. Nevertheless, many students in Hong Kong are just ignorant and many may not even know how a transitive verb is different from an intransitive verb. Furthermore, stupid people don’t know that they’re benefited through reading more example sentences which show them how a word combines naturally with the other… You can’t expect mediocrities like some parents or secondary students to understand – and therefore accept – the ideas from a genius like you. In a word, general Wahyanites may lack the knowledge needed to fully evaluate the usefulness of your vocab learning tool.

    I’m convinced that your system can work and with its assistance I’m going to persevere with my goals despite the time limit. It won’t hurt anyway as my mother supports me to do so. Miracles can happen as you’ve said. Yes, perseverance is the only key to success. Normal people are, however, simply unable to stand the pressure because they’re used to being indolent. Since they have inertia, their resistance to your plans is conceivable. Average Wahyanites, especially those from affluent families, are clearly not strong enough to learn independently, tolerate the stress and be committed to achieving excellence. They aren’t mentally prepared at all. When I was in Wah Yan, I wasn’t either. Did you know? I keep asking myself why there’re always normal distributions in nature. Maybe it is God who has added them to the world with a purpose or significance unknown to all.

    Please don’t die of starvation or else, you mean to be the second big loss in my life. I don’t want to witness over and over again that good people need to suffer in this world. I apologize for my inability to put my thoughts and feelings in a nice and polite way (as it’s not an assignment). With altruism you exemplify Wah Yan Spirit.

    http://hk.news.yahoo.com/video/topstory-19458512/21–28220174.html
    http://tv.on.cc/index.html?s=3&ss=15&i=OBK-120206–12240-22M&d=1328534920
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_profilepage&v=tL4JTqI0Hhs
    http://hk.news.yahoo.com/video/topstory-19458512/21–28220174.html#crsl=%252Fvideo%252Ftopstory-19458512%252F21-28220174.html
    http://tv.on.cc/index.html?d=1328534920&i=OBK-120206–12240-22M&s=3&ss=15
    http://hk.apple.nextmedia.com/template/apple/art_main.php?iss_id=20120207&sec_id=4104&art_id=16048358&av_id=16048727
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GRxmQ6nS2mo&feature=share
    http://hk.news.yahoo.com/video/topstory-19458512/21–28220174.html#crsl=%252Fvideo%252Ftopstory-19458512%252F21-28220174.html
    http://tv.on.cc/index.html?d=1328534920&i=OBK-120206–12240-22M&s=3&ss=15
    http://hk.apple.nextmedia.com/template/apple/art_main.php?iss_id=20120207&sec_id=4104&art_id=16048358&av_id=16048727

    1. Could everybody provide the links of the videos that you found ?

      • Wahyanite '08 on 14 February, 2012 at 2:16 am
      • Reply

      ^ A lot of times, people don’t know what they want until you show it to them.

      • PSA member on 25 February, 2012 at 2:17 am
      • Reply

      Students are walking along different paths at different speeds. Many of them haven’t arrived in the ‘stations’ and they can’t of course see what you can see.

    • Geoffrey on 8 February, 2012 at 4:39 pm
    • Reply

    Yip sir,

    I am a Wahyanite who went abroad to the US after finishing F6 in 2006. I am currently studying for a master degree in Stanford University. I was never in your class, but I respect you a lot as a Wah Yan teacher. After reading the news and also your blog, I have some thoughts that I want to share with you. These thoughts are by no means criticisms but some interesting thoughts from the stand point of a past student.

    1. I totally understand your motive to protest.
    I agree that dealing with the problems at hand is much more important than saving face for the school. Your passion in education is very inspiring.

    2. Vocablearning.com looks boring
    I am sorry, but this is what I feel. I doubt if you can motivate any student by the vocablearning site as claimed. You may be able to gain support from the parents, but can you gain support from the participating students? I am only judging from the “Test Your Vocabulary Size” tab, because that is all I can access without a login ID. From what I can see, the site has a lot of plain text, the questions are quite monotonic, and even the color is monotonic. The website is a channel to communicate with your students, and apart from text alone, sound and graphics are very important aspects in communication. You need to understand the fact that making something boring mandatory is very demotivating. Please make it more interesting!

    3. Educational website/app is a good concept.
    Educational website/app is very popular in the US, and it definitely has a huge market. I bet these websites can succeed in Hong Kong as well. All I am suggesting is that you need to polish your concept and your website.

    4. Wahyan is small; opportunity is everywhere.
    If your concept is not accepted in Wahyan, try elsewhere. If you also want to educate students apart from Wahyanites, you should spread your idea to other institutions as well.
    If you truly believe in yourself and your idea, you should start a startup company that sells educational websites (and/or apps). Try to look for venture funding, perhaps from some rich WY past students, and implement your idea. Hire a graphic designer and a web programmer, and really focus on building a professional and interesting educational website. It is a risky business, but if you have got the passion, it may be the right thing to do.

    5. Why should I start a company?
    Because you need the development of your educational web service to be professional and sustainable. Doing it alone is difficult and slow. With a sustainable income, you can hire more people and provide better services.

    6. Remember who you are.
    You are the ex-vice-principal of WYHK, and so your title bears some weight in the field of education. After you finish the prototype of a new website, it is possible that you can convince a few schools to try out your service (perhaps for free at first). If their students get a statistically significant improvement, you can then go back to Wahyan to show them some solid results.

    Take care! Never give up!

    Best regards,

    Geoffrey

    1. Read the reply to Diki. Read through all articles before come up with your conclusion.

      For Q2, the interface is boring because it is something likes Google rather than Yahoo. Regular user will find it really useful rather than just a fancy look which makes Yahoo almost go bust. The real secret is the algorithm behind the database.

      For Q4-6, these are commonly asked question. My point of view is very different from ordinary people. If my mindset is similar to most people, I won’t dare do the hunger strike. Keep reading all the articles first, you will find my very well-though answers in my blog later.

      The ones who can create Google are not ordinary people. Do you know the algorithm behind Google before it was invented ?

        • Geoffrey on 9 February, 2012 at 5:23 am
        • Reply

        Yip Sir,

        First of all, I want to clarify that I support your hunger strike. I’m not here to tell you to go home like many other people. Strike is good. There are strikes in my alma mater university every month to protest against budget cut. I understand the nature of protest. It is nonetheless a good way to gather attention on matters. But there are more you can do than protesting, and perhaps you can look at those options after your hunger strike.

        About your attitude…
        I understand you feel a lot of stress from the school management, and you feel that you are fighting this war alone. But there is no reason to keep thinking and saying that ” my point of view is very dif­fer­ent from ordi­nary peo­ple.” We are all Wahyanites, and we all want a better Wah Yan. Keep isolating yourself action-wise and mindset-wise will not gain you any supporters.

        Take the example of the Occupy Movement. Their slogan was “We are the 99%”. The protesters identified themselves with the mass public to gain huge support. You, on the other hand, did it backward.

        I am sure many Wahyanites and past students would like to fight with you. If you can listen more to other people and not be so angry, I am sure you can rally a bigger movement.

        Talking about google…
        Of course I couldn’t have known its search algorithm while it was still hosted in a lab in Stanford. I was probably only a F1 student back then. But now I am also in the same school as the Google founders, and I would humbly follow their path of innovation. I know I will not have such a big success as they do, but I will still try.

        But talking about the interface of Google, it has nothing but a well thought out layout. It isn’t a fluke at all. To integrate Google Doc, Gmail, and its search engine together layout-wise is not an easy task. Of course, Google started out with a very simple looking interface, but that was 10+ years ago. Every website looked ugly back then. If its layout didn’t keep up with the rest of the world, Google would also go bust.

        Taking Apple for example, all Steve Job cared about was to provide a good user experience, and he emphasized on a good looking interface.

        There are two types of computer engineers in the world – front-end and back-end. A front-end engineer deals with all the user interface and layout, and the back-end engineer deals with the algorithm and database interaction. Yip sir may be a very good back-end engineer, and you may provide very useful content to be stored in the database, but you cannot neglect the importance of a fresh looking layout. And therefore, I suggest hiring a web programmer and a graphic designer if you choose to continue its development. You can then focus on providing good content as you always did, and your employee can focus on providing good layout.

        Again, these are just my humble suggestions.

        1. First of all, thank you very much for your understanding.

          Hunger Strike

          My point of view of enlisting the support of others is that I don’t want to provoke anybody to support me because I don’t want to take advantage of the emotion of anybody including my Alma Maters and parents. Not hurting the innocent is one of my highest life principles. (I don’t consider any participants of any Ponzi schemes who insists to keep the Ponzi scheme running innocent.)

          In short term, emotional act may work but in the long run, only rational thinking works. This is a real lesson I learn from history. Actually, I am a great fan of human history. Colonalists, including British and Central People Government, don’t want us to learn history seriously because it is the real wisdom required to change the world. You can ascertain my action by looking at almost all historical scenarios including “We are the 99%” and “The hunger strike of Gandhi”.

          On another hand, could you foresee what tangible change that the “We are the 99%” campaign will achieve eventually. I did my forecast already. In history, actions of this kind have been conducted in different eras and ended up with nothing.

          I don’t mind anybody supporting me if this is his rational decision rather than an emotional one . I also hope that those who really care can join my strike in the last few hours if not the last few days.

          Many people accused me that I strike for my personal interest. If this was true, I would be the first one doing a 21-day hunger strike for personal interest in history. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hunger_strike

          If hunger strike is used to strive for personal interest, it is doomed to fail. Nobody will sympathize the striker and sympathy is the only element that a striker can rely on. I am not stupid to that extent.

          Could you understand if I could persuade my mom, a very traditional Chinese housewife aged almost 70, to peacefully support my strike, how thoughtful and persuasive I can be ? I have mulled over almost every single bit of possibility already.

          Software development

          I don’t know what you are studying at the moment and your true understanding of software development process is.

          Professional software development is a very labour-intensive, talent-intensive and capital-intensive process. I was a Chemistry major who did only an introductory course in outmoded Fortran more than 20 years ago when I was in the university. Everything I learnt in the course is no long applicable to modern software development.

          In the last 6-7 years, I took dozens of professional courses which are designed for Computer Science Graduates who are working full-time in professional software development in order to acquire enough knowledge to build the computer-platform to save my beloved students. (I believed that this is what our school motto really means – By this sign, you shall conquer(your own weakness)) and what the school song writer wanted us to do.

          I think you can image how difficult the whole process was for me.

          I remember that in the ice-breaking session of a professional database administration course. The instructor asked the students how many of us were application software developer?. A few students raised their hands including me. Database program developer ? Another few including me. Database administrator ? Another few including me ? System Architect ? Another few including me. Infrastructure design? Another few including me. Infrastructure support ? Nobody but me. He didn’t ask “UI developer” though I am one because I thought that he didn’t anticipate that a “UI developer” would take such a specialized course.

          He wondered and asked me what I did because he thought that what I was doing was usually performed by a team of at least 5-6 professionals in a software company.

          When I told him that I was a teacher, he was even more puzzled.

          With only limited resource, I simply put my resource in the area with the highest expected return. This is always my working principle.

          If I had a team of a thousand or ten thousand, I would also do something similar to what Google does.

    • Diki on 8 February, 2012 at 7:32 pm
    • Reply

    Hi Paul Sir ,

    閱畢事情部份的起末和你爭取的理據和論點,我反而想還原基本,討論到底華仁到底應該為學生帶來甚麼,或者廣泛點說一間良好的中學應該為中學生帶來甚麼。抱歉未能全部閱讀所有你撰寫的資料,但我所理解到的都是圍繞成功入大學的比率以及學生的英語成績,如有其他隱藏之內容希望能予以更正。

    到底成功入大學的比率有多重要?對於其他知名度不高的學校來說,他們會大大個橫額掛著他們成功「生產」了多少個狀元,這點是能理解的,因為他們收生不足便會沒資源,要面對殺校。

    可是華仁呢?雖然我已畢業數年,但我相信收生人數對華仁來說絕對不是問題。我不認為華仁有必要去和別人比拼有多少人能考進大學,畢竟,讀大學不是唯一的出路,也不是一所中學唯一的目標。隨著時間轉變,現在香港大學畢業生到處都是,令大學生的價值越來越低。更遺憾的,是香港有不少人被這個框架影響下,寧願放棄自己的理想,去讀一個大學學位,甚至是一個自己不喜歡的學位,好令自己有份穩定一點的工作,隨波逐流,連自己的人生目標也說不出。

    我所認識的華仁,不是一所把我硬套進這個框架的學校。

    我崇尚華仁自由的風氣,我所認識的華仁,是能夠給我很大的自由去選擇自己想走的道路,同時學懂為自己的選擇而負責任。

    華仁的可貴,不是在於學生的英語水平如何,不是在於有多少學生能夠進入大學,也不是到底畢業生的平均薪金有多高。充滿發揮空間的教育氣氛,才是華仁價值之處。

    我認為華仁的畢業生,不一定要是高學歷高收入的有識之士,而是成為有堅毅的目標去為社會作出貢獻,而且每天過得很快樂的人。即使學生的英語水準不好,導致無法考進大學,但只要他朝著自己目標出發,即使他的工作是一個勞苦大眾,但每天為著社會運作而生活,我認為這甚至比一個一級榮譽畢業但每天渾渾噩噩幹著傷害社會的事情的大學生來得好。

    別人常說不少華仁仔都會從政,而另外某幾間傳統名校大多都是從商。這邊的曾蔭權、林瑞麟、孫明揚以及九龍華仁的李柱銘、梁家傑、涂謹申、謝偉俊,姑勿論他們的政績和政見是否有利於香港還是害了香港,以他們的智慧和知名度去做一個年薪過千萬的商人絶對難不到他們。可是他們仍然是走出來為香港,去做一點他們認為要做的事。我覺得這種「Men for (and with) others」的抱負,就是華仁帶給華仁仔的。

    扯得有點遠了,我的看法是華仁的特式在於其自由,而華仁仔能夠找到目標是在這樣的氣氛下養育的。所以,以強迫的方式去令學生學英文,有點不妥。而用這種絕食抗爭形式去迫使別人關注,從而令校方或家長接納這種強迫英文學習方式,更為不妥。

    Paul Sir 你是一個很有影響力的人,我覺得你有很多新主意去激發甚至扭轉學生傳統的想法,這點我十分佩服。可是當你成為副校長後,我從學弟聽回來,你用了副校長的權力去實行一些天馬行空的想法,我認為由那一刻開始,你開始走錯了路。到了現在,更是越走越錯。

    去改變他人想法和習慣,是要靠感染別人,並透過人與人之間的互動傳播訊息。使用權力去迫使其他人實行你的一套,或者用別人的同情心去令別人思索你實行的一套,並不能作出任何改變,別人是基於不想違背你的意旨或是同情你才去行動,完全非出於自願。

    回想起來,我只是中六的一年被你教過 Chem,因為早已獲大學取錄所以也沒下過苦功在 Chem 上。那年你介紹了 Mind Map 這套工具,去幫助我們學習。即使到現在,我還不是將複雜的概念整理成 Mind Map,可謂終生受用。然而,當年你卻要我們像低年級學生般背誦你所編寫的 Mind Map,然後像默書般背默出來,我大為不解,每個人有自己一套思考的方法,然而這種背寫 Mind Map 的形式就彷彿似強迫將思考方向套到學生身上。

    我希望 Paul Sir 在繼續走這條歪路時去想想,到底華仁到底真正給學生的是甚麼。近幾年來華仁被包裝成一所金礦,學生出了問題當權者最怕的只是影響校譽,不管學生本身的個人發展,再來將學校一房一草一木賣給人灌名。我相信不少華仁仔都會認同華仁出了問題,但我認為這個問題,不是入大學比率或者英語水準下降,而是大家希望找回那能夠培育自己正面發展的華仁。

    華仁不需要像屋邨學校般告訴街坊今年有多少個狀元,華仁只需要令學生找到自己應該要走的道路,將來做一個對自己對社會負責的人。

    In hoc signo vinces

    Diki
    04′ F.5 Graduate

    1. First of all, please read through all articles in this website before making your conclusion.

      I also did a 3 hours interview with 東周刊 which should give you a better coverage of the story.

      After reading all these, I wish that your conclusion would be 180 degree different. The whole scenario is just impossible for an ordinary newspaper article to cover without distortion.

        • Diki on 8 February, 2012 at 9:35 pm
        • Reply

        我的確有閱讀過你的論點,亦知道英語軟件不是事件的主因而只是導火線。《東週刊》的訪問則未能閱讀,如在市面看到必定會留意。

        我相信大部份學生和舊生也知道現在學校的管理層在很多處事方法上的問題,正如我所說他們關心學校的名聲多於學生的本身,在這個黑暗年代學生走不出被謊言蒙蔽的框架,正如很多人覺得華仁仔「以為自己好掂」,到頭來一無是處,甚麼都不是。

        然而,把學生從一套框架救走,卻把他們放進另一套框架。不只是成為副校長後,連仍擔任化學教師時你也希望把學生索造成一個理想世界中的居民。

        我不否認你的理想世界對學生的得益而言是最好,亦感受到你為幫華仁仔脫出這個黑暗雲霧的熱誠。然而,為何學生沒有不成為你理想世界居民的選擇權利?

        1. Have you ever read through all the articles yet ? If not, read the replies to “A young and old boy” on Why am I fighting alone? first and then others.

          I have never said that everyone must be rescued. In human history, a lot of people simply refuse to be enlightened. Chinese makes up a very large portion of it. Most Chinese only like “船堅砲利” which never really works in China rather than “理性思考” which works very well in the Western World. The difference makes the Western world take over China after the Renaissance.

          I am only asking for a full disclosure if the school keeps telling lies to deceive the potential students and parents. And let the current students and parents to prepare themselves based on real information.

          Ponzi scheme is not allowed by law despite the consensus of the participants.

          Ingratitude towards their strong men is the mark of strong people – Winston Churchill

          Do you consider me a “Man for the others” ? Do you consider that I am an alumnus living out the spirit of our school song – “In all that we do whether duty or pleasure, we count not the cost but unselfishly strive. What’s mean or unmanly, we shun with displeasure. Come praise or come blame we hold our heads high.” ?

        • Not A Student on 9 February, 2012 at 2:24 am
        • Reply

        Paul Sir,

        In a nutshell, all you have done aims at pulling the principal and the management down from the throne. And for sure, we should have understood your articles posted or written before making any arguments which appear to be make sense in front of youI

        How many Asperger’s Symdrome do you have?

        1. Why do you consider persistence on a just act an Asperger’s Syndrome ? Calumny and betrayal were what I got used to in all these years.

          I am only an adamant activist with a very rational mind. Patients of Asperger’s Syndrome are rational in building up their own arguments but they have difficulties in responding to challenge rationally. I think I don’t fall into this category.

          I only used over 10 years using various just means and making countless concessions at the same time in order to achieve a just end.

          If you haven’t read through all the articles, please read at least this one. Persistence is the Key to the Success in Everything

          • Former Member of Parent Teacher Association on 9 February, 2012 at 11:44 am
          • Reply

          Why not pull the Principal down from the “throne” by the way? The English of the Principal is really shameful and awful… He can’t even set up a good example – his standard is too low to persuade me at least. He just doesn’t improve by working hard.

          If you’re lazy and you get an A, you’re clever. Our sons are not that smart!!! I regret I didn’t let my son study in another real famous school when he still had a chance.

          Under their leadership, our sons won’t fly higher but fry deeper in exams (在考試大炒)! You know deep down!!! We need to wake up NOW!!!

            • Parent on 9 February, 2012 at 12:05 pm
            • Reply

            My son is studying in the school and I dare not speak like this… Well-said and sad. And, I want to say that when a person is very good, the other person who feels not confident may be afraid of being replaced. Ha ha.

            • Worried parent on 10 February, 2012 at 7:02 pm
            • Reply

            “If you’re lazy and you get an A, you’re clever. Our sons are not that smart!”

            GREAT!

            • Worried parent on 10 February, 2012 at 7:07 pm
            • Reply

            資方橙校長……

    • Student on 9 February, 2012 at 10:26 pm
    • Reply

    你一定要渡過難關。老實說,VocabLearning.com 真的好用。支持你!

    • Kmom on 10 February, 2012 at 7:35 pm
    • Reply

    I am a mom of a kindergarten kid. I heard that WY was good not only academically but also the moral and behaviour of the students and alumni. I decided to choose WY Pri and lead a path to WY. I have heard some gossips about the downward trend inside current WY. But which school hasn’t gossips? At the moment, I was not vigilant enough to the fact that the school haven’t been releasing its distinction rate and university admission rate in recent years.

    Your selfless sharing stunned up my image for a dream school. A once very good school is not as good as the past. With short of update information, a mom like me would insist to go the WY path. Now I won’t recommend my kid to choose WY until the enlightenment works to WY. Who wants to ride a sinking boat?

    I met you this morning on the footbridge to give support to your campaign. I hope the existing Wahyanites work hard to their dream universities and the parents feel happy their kids studying in WY.

    I hope you are well. Keep on. I support you!

    If there is chance, I would like to try the Vocablearning myself.

    • Senior on 11 February, 2012 at 1:18 am
    • Reply

    1. i think not many students really know paul yip.

    2. the minds of the junior form students are easily influenced by teachers.

    3. to be honest, i hv no idea why paul yip is always depicted by others as a weirdo.

    4. people oppose his plans because they think their method “works okay good lah”; but paul yip wants not only “okay” but “the best”.

    • Geoffrey on 11 February, 2012 at 7:32 am
    • Reply

    Have you considered using a softer approach to get student to use Vocablearning?

    Instead of making it mandatory (as a push method), you can make it an extra credit assignment (as a pull method). If a student finishes the vocablearning assignment, you give an additional 10 points to his final grade (or something along those lines). This way, they have the incentive to do the assignment, and you won’t be accused of being an authoritarian ruler.

    Extra credit is popular among schools in the US. Most Asian students (at least those I know) did most of the extra credit assignments, and I would expect the same scenario in HK. Weekly online quizzes (similar to vocablearning) is one of the more common extra credit assignments in the US.

    1. Thank for your suggestion but I think this will not close the performance gap and the school opted to use English to do the Liberal Studies Subject where the students have no way to manage the subject with their current level of English proficiency or even with moderate improvement. The need to close the gap is urgent. Devastating results in Liberal Studies are expected in the next few years but I hope it will not protract forever.

      Article : The exercise can be carried out as a voluntary activity

      If the need is not so urgent, your softer approach may be the better way out.

      At the moment, my petition is only to find out the facts. Without facts, nothing can be done.

        • Past Student on 11 February, 2012 at 12:39 pm
        • Reply

        The criterion is stringent. Students pursuing a professional degree still continue their studies even in the face of the snowballing challenges. The question is: why don’t they give up there?

  1. Did you end your hunger strike? Someone said you have ended your hunger strike already.

    1. The strike was not ended. It was only postponed, waiting for the reply of the school to my petition after a meeting with the school today. If the answer is unfavorable, I will restart the hunger strike from day 1.

      1. That means you will restart, not resume. But why?

        1. I consider “Resume” a cheating as I am eating things now. So if I need to return, the day must be counted from 1 again.

    • Sammy on 12 February, 2012 at 12:57 am
    • Reply

    你好,我從報章上得知你絕食抗議一事。

    我不認同香港傳統的教育做法,由教育界和傳統家長造成一個困局,只是推崇所謂精英全能學生。我認為對所有學生的教育都要平等,教育是要教導學生自我學習,而不是教導基於考試和成績制度而去操練學生。有台灣作家居住芬蘭多年,她寫了兩三本書講述芬蘭教育跟我們現在的教育不同,一個人口少的國家也製造不少優才。

    得知你自行研發網上教育軟件,我想到這件事的問題,既然一所學校不用,為何不找方法讓更多學生可以使用你的軟件來學習 ?

    MIT 和多間大學推出 Open Courseware,MIT Labs 的研究也以 open source 釋出軟件程式碼。為何你不索性把你的軟件開放出來,透過你在教育界的人網絡和互聯網,讓其他香港以至外地學校的老師們一同組成團隊,共同合作維護、改良、並開發新的開放教育軟件,那麼這才是教育應該做的事。比你現在只專注一所學校,教育到更多的學生。

    Open Courseware, Open Source Software, Open Source License, Creative Commons Licenses, Internet 這些都是我覺得你要考慮的關鍵字。

    路不只是得一條,就找另一個方法證明你的論點,希望你自己能對教育看遠一點。

    1. I am here not striking for the program. I am here striking for honesty.

      The software will eventually be developed into a platform which is available to everybody. But at the moment, this is not the point.

        • Sammy on 12 February, 2012 at 3:54 pm
        • Reply

        把軟件開放源碼是一個引子,重點是開放源碼背後成功的理念。

        重點是,為了一間學校而放棄教育是不值得的。除了這場訴求外,你這一年來為教育做過點甚麼 ?

        如果你可以明確說出除了這場訴求外,也做了其他的事的話,那還算是值得,否則是浪費時間。

        看來也許你欣賞 Steve Jobs 和 Apple,可能你未曾聽過一篇外國很出名的科技文章 The Cathedral and the Bazaar (by Eric S. Raymond)。你的想法和這場訴求就是 focus 在一座 Cathedral,望 Cathedral 有朝一日能接納你的想法和訴求,可是這一座 Cathedral 由誰話事 ? 那個話事人卻不是你。不如在這場 (長期?) 訴求的同時,花些時間在 Bazaar,那麼有一天可能你透過更大更廣的 Bazaar,戰勝這一座 Cathedral。

        http://www.catb.org/~esr/writings/cathedral-bazaar/

        你的想法和訴求是為了華仁,沒錯,某程度上對你和華仁是值得的。

        可是除了這件事外,我從報章報導的初步了解,你已離職而沒有其他工作 (不論有薪無薪)。我想到的問題就是,除了這場訴求外,有沒有其他事 (例如教育上) 你可以去做呢 ?

        這一座 Cathe­dral (華仁) 不到你決定,為何不在 Bazaar,同時多開另一條路/戰線來繼續工作和實行你的想法 ?

        1. I am work­ing both in par­al­lel. The mar­ginal cost of doing so is not high. “Low input, high return” is always my work­ing principle.

          Please also read my rely to WYnite below.

    • FC_UK on 12 February, 2012 at 2:53 am
    • Reply

    Can you disclose in this website the original and complete data of every student’s performance and vocabulary learnt through your project?

    1. The raw data involve privacy and are beyond the average ability of an ordinary citizen to comprehend. For these reasons, in order to end the row, my petition is to hire actuaries by both sides to analyze the raw data so that a conclusion which is acceptable to both sides can be reached.

        • FC_UK on 12 February, 2012 at 6:49 pm
        • Reply

        Raw data with name, student ID and any personal information removed or replaced with an independent and unique ID can provide enough information for scholars and statisticians for their further analysis yet student privacy is protected. If these data have truly enough and unbiased statistical evidence to justify your hypothesis, this would be a great news for education and language acquisition research in Hong Kong.

        I do not see the reason rather to hire actu­ar­ies than invite university’s professors and research teams to study this case.

        1. Your better ask the school to provide them for you. I am not in the appropriate position to do so. I will only provide them to a licensed actuary if I can reach a consensus with the school.

            • A young and old boy on 13 February, 2012 at 1:07 am
            • Reply

            If so, since you are no longer a staff of the school, why do you think you are in the appropriate position to put up all the data in this web? I think it is basic ethics that we should destory all the information we obtain from work once we leave an organisation.

            1. I didn’t put all the data on the web. I only put the statistical figure on the web. It is always difficult to be a whistleblower. This is not a job for faint of heart.
              http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Whistleblower
              Personally, I use Catholic value and a moral system advocated by John Rawls – Veil of Ignorance in his influential academic writing “A Theory of Justice” as my moral guide.

    • Andy Valca on 12 February, 2012 at 6:53 am
    • Reply

    Hi, I will appreciate if you can clarify the follow questions for me to better understand the situation:

    i) Correct me if I’m wrong, my read on your current demand is purely about the “determination of UGC-subsidized degree admission rate”. Given you are now a reporter (according to your e-mail to Stephen, Friday, October 14, 2011 9:22 PM), how do you justify that your current demand is not for personal gain?

    ii) My read is that you raise your demand as an alumnus, rather than an ex-teacher, an ex-assistant principal, or a parent of any Wah Yan student. Do you think schools in Hong Kong should reply to demands like yours raised by their alumni?

    iii) How do you define 學術成績增率為零? Is that the same as “academic value addedness”?

    iv) Should high schools in Hong Kong be measured in “UGC-subsidized degree admission rate” or ‘university admission rate’, which counts students admitted to universities overseas?

    Thanks and regards,

    1. i) First of all, the hat of a reporter is only an enlighening process. I always want to save the wahyanites.
      On another hand, I don’t see that I have any personal gain. Even if I have some intangible gain, I think it would not be comparable to my lost in potential income of HK$15,000,000. Please read : http://www.savingthewahyanites.net/?page_id=336>Is any of these the real reason against the Vocablearning Project ?
      After reading the page, please tell me any personal gain that I can possibly have, then I can answer your question.

      ii) I demand this in the position of an social activist rather than any positions you identified.

      iii) Yes, “學術成績增率” is the same as “aca­d­e­mic value-addedness”.

      iv) There are so many definitions in admission rate. Like floor area in selling of real estate, there are saleable area and carpet area. My calculation is very lenient. It already includes all early leavers no matter they are leaving for university study or not. I have answered all these queries in the meeting of SMC held on 21st Sept 2011 already. For detailed calculation, we need to entrust this to an actuary.

    • WYnite on 12 February, 2012 at 12:37 pm
    • Reply

    轉載自河馬田面書…

    總括多日來不同媒體的報導,菠蘿葉不提證供的指控包括︰
    1. 海軍山書塾拒絕迫使學生長期定時兼定量地進食由菠蘿葉製造的有益健康的機因改造蘋果,有損學生應該有的健康,令成為天子門生的機會大幅滑落,令門生損失美好「錢」程。傳統名店如此做法無異於欺騙坊眾;菠蘿現在瞓街是警醒市民,以防好人被騙;
    2. 書塾的管理人脂肪橙,欺上瞞下,不將菠蘿多年來已經知道的成績下滑告知校董會。校董會對他們應該知道的成績下滑視而不見。[菠蘿現以瞓街行動警告校董會情況嚴重,正是眾人皆醉我獨醒的好例子!]
    3. 書塾侮辱聰明人︰菠蘿葉引西洋諺語「第一次被騙,你應慚愧。第二次被騙,我會愧不敢當」為了怕再被騙,菠蘿情願瞓街也不聽書塾的話,因為他聲稱已經愧疚了兩次。問題是各位看官信不信口才「一向了得」的脂肪橙能騙過攻無不克的菠蘿葉嗎?還是菠蘿葉是自己騙自己?
    4. 菠蘿讚口不絕的喇叭書塾和馬利萬書塾的成績,遠遠優於海軍山書塾。海軍山書塾表現則明顯不理想;有負江東父老。(若依據菠蘿的計算方法,過往六年這兩所名牌書塾的大學入學率應該壓在海軍山書塾頭上,為何不畫個圖印幅海報比一比?或者將所有傳統名店的六年大學入學率依菠蘿運算法演算一遍,以服眾人?總比瞓給引傳媒來得正氣)
    5. 菠蘿葉的演算結果聲稱曾得第三方証實。[請提供証實者身份及書面理據;若菠蘿只限時要書塾提供反對理據,而書塾無回應,這種反應也當作第三方証實,是否和稀泥了一點呢?]
    6. 菠蘿聲稱是以辭職來換取試行「學生強制進食機因改造蘋果」計劃。[他應該出示其辭職信,及書塾的合作計劃,以証明書塾的管理人言而無信!]

    1. Do you really believe in the report of some news­pa­pers ? Have they ever try to find out the facts by read­ing through all the arti­cles on this web­site and cross check them with the school ?

      I think some news­pa­pers with proven cred­i­bil­ity will report the story later as they are ver­i­fy­ing my claims and the claims of the school. Wait and see.

      Replies to 河馬田面書
      1. I never say money is the only thing that I want the stu­dents to get. Please don’t put somebody’s words into my mouth or gar­ble my mean­ing. Improve­ment in vocab­u­lary only improves the input process, the most time con­sum­ing process in learn­ing, and choice of words in writ­ing sig­nif­i­cantly. After that, knowl­edge can be learnt more effec­tively and idea can be expressed more accu­rately. Finally, this will give the stu­dents more space to think on some­thing more impor­tant e.g. Life, Value, Jus­tice, Need of Enlight­en­ment, Soci­ety, Mankind etc as the stress from pub­lic exam­i­na­tion will be greatly alle­vi­ated. We need edu­ca­tion, not exam­i­na­tion grade.

      2. I already pre­sented all my find­ings in the School Man­age­ment Com­mit­tee in the meet­ing held on 21st Sept 2010. My find­ings were sim­ply dis­re­garded by the committee.

      3. “Trust and integrity” are the very basic elements in working relationship. Without them, we need to sign contract for every verbal agreement and every promise. Without “Trust and integrity”, the transaction cost of all cooperation will be so high that basically no cooperation is possible. This is the really reason of my resignation besides the intention to create a political shock to push the vocablearning project through. Obviously, my tactical retreat eventually made the vocablearning a reality in 2010-2011.

      Before 2010-2011, I was accused that despite the promising result observed in laboratory test, pre-clinical test and sound academic rationale, I could not do the clinical test as I didn’t have any clinical test data to support the clinical test. This accusation is totally nonsense. If the accusation is valid, probably no new drugs will be invented anymore. Now, I have all the proven clinical test data. The objection becomes “This is the decision of the school”. This is simply “莫須有”.

      Could you see that the list of objection gets longer and longer whenever each objection is addressed ? Do you know why “岳飛” was accused of “莫須有” ? One of my colleagues commented that I have no chance to win as they are the ones who cut the cake and take the cut first.

      I think I am considered an enemy because I helped an enemy of the principal. Being considered as a friend of the prinicpal’s enemy, I became an enemy.

      One of my colleagues sued the principal for slander. Although I didn’t agree with his action and tried to talk him out, accordingly to my principle of justice, I agreed to testify for him even though this put myself at great risk with no personal return at all.

      Why am I so adamant in saving the Wahyanites ?

      I returned to Wah Yan to be a teacher 15 years ago, 12 years after my graduation. Besides the campus and other hardware, I can hardly recognize Wah Yan anymore. The traditional spirit and education philosophy of Wah Yan have gone already.

      When I just returned to Wah Yan, there was a teacher who was my senior. I knew him when I was studying in Wah Yan. We were working in the Altar boy society together.

      He was once a dentist but he believed that education could help people more so he abandoned his professional and lucrative income and became a teacher. We are good friends and had very good working relationship in Wah Yan.

      10 years ago, on one day in late July, he invited me for a lunch. He told me that he resigned but didn’t dare enough tell me. I understand him very well. I knew that he resigned not because of better prospect but because he gave up Wah Yan. That night, I told myself, I am the last hope and I will not give up no matter what happens.

      In all these years, I have been deceived again and again not because I am fool but because I know that I must push the vocablearning project through to increase the learning efficiency of the students as the first step to save the Wahyanites. I can only “忍辱負重”. I stated the need of vocablearning very clearly in my application letter for assistant principal. If the top management didn’t agree with my plan, they should not appoint me as the assistant principal. By accepting the offer, my hourly wage dropped by almost half. I can work under great pressure if the job gives me satisfaction but I could not do so if betrayal is the only thing I get. Perhaps this was what make my senior and 3 other assistant principals resigned before their age of retirement.

      Vocablearning is only a tiny part of my whole strategy

      I studied in Wah Yan, taught in La Salle College, Maryknoll Convent and Siu Ming. They are all elite schools each possesses unique character to make them successful.

      Wah Yan – Enlightenment (though no longer observed)
      La Salle College – Solidarity through athletics and PSA
      Maryknoll Convent – High language ability
      Siu Ming – Long term planning and long term implementation

      I have a great plan to integrate all these strategies into Wah Yan to make Wah Yan fly much much higher. But they must be implemented in correct order, otherwise devastating result is expected.

      High language ability must be the first step and that’s why I spent 6-7 years in doing linguistic and other related researches.

      I stated Lanaguage ability and Athletic explicitly in my letter of application for assistant principal but the school only adopts Athletic because it gives immediate gratification. I don’t want “我不殺伯仁,伯仁為我而死”. Therefore, I must push the vocablearning project through.

      But at the moment, my petition is about the facts, not merely my project. If there is no performance gap, I don’t see any urgency in adopting any of these strategies.

      4. First of all, I have neither praised La Salle College or Maryknoll Convent School nor belittle Wah Yan on school basis. I only revealed the facts. Please don’t use emotional term to provoke the feeling of the readers.
      If a reporter must report the wrongdoing of every instance of similar kind before he can report on a particular instance, nobody can do that. Probably, this is a very good accusation to gag the freedom of press.
      My plots are constructed based on the data from Wah Yan and other publicly available source. e.g. University Grant Council, Equal Opportunity Council and Examination Authority. It reflects the performance of Wah Yan with respect to HK average. As competing for UGC-subsidized degree places is a zero sum game, if Wah Yan is under-performing, somebody else must be over-performing. It is not possible for every school to be under-performing. Therefore, statistically, my conclusion is valid even without the data from any particular schools.

      5. Please read My email dialogue with the school supervisor from 13 Oct 2011 to 29 Oct 2011.

      6. My resignation created a political shock not a paper agreement. This was a well calculated risky attempt. It was the shock that made the project materialized. Otherwise, what do you think on what basis the principal changed his attitude towards the project all in a sudden ? Please read : The scheme by-passed the formal decision making channel and Is any of these the real reason against the Vocablearning Project ? Do you know that the nickname of the principal when I was a student was “姦仔” ? He simply won’t allow you to get any paper evidence easily though I have a few.

      Do you see that the objection list gets longer and longer whenever an objection was addressed successfully ?

    • Hi Hi on 12 February, 2012 at 8:26 pm
    • Reply

    Dr. XXX!!!

    • A young and old boy on 13 February, 2012 at 1:50 am
    • Reply

    It seems that you are not aware of my message dated 6 Feb 2012 in your blog “Why am I fighting alone?”. As such, I hereby re-post the same with some minor updates for your perusal.

    As you have rightly identified, I am not an insider of the school operation. As at the date of this reply, other than my identity as a Wah Yan alumnus, I am a third party independent of the school, its management, teaching staff and students. Accordingly, I have been looking at the development of this matter without prejudice to any parties.

    I agree that discussion is meaningless if one insists that he will discuss a topic only if he can exclude all the perspectives he wants to exclude. Nevertheless, please also bear in mind that discussion is equally meaningless if one insists that he will discuss a topic only if he can include whatsoever aspects he wants to discuss. Pursuant to my understanding of a debate competition, there must be a proposition at the outset before affirmative and negative sides commence their debates. By all means, each side can spend time on discussing irrelevant issues but it certainly tells against their chance of winning the contest. Besides, I also understand that in jurisdictions which adopt the common law system, evidences being irrelevant to the case are of no value and can be struck off by the judge. Of course, there isn’t any judge or jury to make the decision here but it is obvious that our views are diverging as to whether our discussion should also cover the topics such as “performance gap” and “correction measures”. Unlike what you have suggested in your reply, I don’t consider the same to be unfavourable evidences as you should well be aware that my focus has always been (1) the way you are handling this campaign and (2) the benefits vs. damages that can be brought about to various parties. Suffice to say, having fruitful discussions on topics such as “performance gap” and “correction measures” by virtue of exchanging messages here is indeed an insurmountable task.

    As per my recollection, the last year we competed in division I of inter school athletic meet was 1989, which was well ahead of Mr. Tam’s appointment as the school principal and Fr. Chow’s appointment as the school supervisor. Moreover, there were also a number of promotions and relegations for other sport teams during the past 20 years. I admit that it has been a long time since we last snatched the overall champion of English debate completion. However, when you read carefully the school annuals, you can also figure out our developments in some new areas that we had never achieved by 1985.

    I can see your point in our decline of As in recent years. But back to square one —— how can your disturbing actions be beneficial to our students? I notice that the School Supervisor also made this remark to you in his email and I somehow agree with him. I notice from newspaper that you also did hunger strike at home when you have disagreement with your wife. Do you think it is an act that a reasonable and responsible man does? To me, it is no difference to a trick to use your own health to threaten the one who concerns about you.

    I feel surprised to hear that you consider most of your queries being ignored by me and I will appreciate it if you can be more specific. On the other hand, with due regard, there are certainly a number of my queries/views that you addressed neither in your previous messages nor your articles and I hereby set them out again as below:

    1. I notice that you constantly say that Mr. Tam shall be held responsible the “performance gap”. However, you also used to be a teaching staff for over a decade and a former management of the school. If the “performance gap” exists, why can you alone shrug off all the responsibility?
    2. Reference is made to your article headed “Who else do I need to save?” in your blog. Are you trying to infer therein that the school or its management is the main cause of the deceases of 2 teachers and the critical ill-nesses suffered by other teachers? Do you think it is a fair comment to make without evidence?
    3. Since you claimed to control the discipline problem at assemblies and enhance the performance of students by the vocablearning, do you think that you did a much better job than your predecessors and Mr. Tam? Can all the problems be solved if the school management is directed by you but without anyone’s support?
    4. You once mentioned that the management likes to play the finger-pointing games. But in fact, you are also pointing finger at the school management now. So, why do you think your finger-pointing is moral whilst that of the school is evil?

    I also revisited my last message verbatim and tried my utmost to understand why freedom of press will disappear if my reasoning is valid. I assume you are referring to my statement “I have serious doubt whether a right activist in the street is in the posi-tion to comment on the existing policy that the school now adopts”. Frankly, I don’t see this statement being equivalent to the deprivation of freedom of press but I would like to share one further point ——-the debate of how far freedom of press should go along with the protection of private information and avoidance of libel is everlasting.

    In addition, if you don’t exclude the possibility of doing the same hunger strike to other schools if I can prove another case of wrongdoing, why don’t you take the initiative to launch an outright research and let the uninformed potential parents to make better assessments of all the schools in HK? Is it more meaningful to extend your care to all children in HK? You mentioned that “you are working both in parallel”. Can you specify what you did in the past 1 year to help the education in HK and the relevant achievement? Result speaks for itself. It is definitely useless to fantasize about a dream that will never come true.

    I am willing to discuss with you thoroughly regarding your remaining questions should I have time. However, the questions are either too irrelevant or remote (e.g. human history, political views) which make them infeasible or inefficient to be discussed here. We can always raise a simple mathematical question such as “1+1=2” to a level of discussion which takes years to complete. It just depends on whether we have time to afford such discussion and whether it is constructive. Life is short, right? I wonder if you ever notice that whenever people ask you a practical question, you give them an idealistic answer most of the time.

    N.B I understand that you will continue with your hunger strike if the response from the school is unfavourable (i.e. if you don’t like their answers). But shall we give up peace straight away whenever we encounter setback? This is what I have serious reservation.

    1. I am sorry for the belated reply. Actually, I didn’t overlook your post. I only felt that your post was a little bit convoluted, and most arguments are based on feeling and your vested interest as a Wahyanite rather than rational thinking. So I decided to answer your queries later. Otherwise, you will waste me too much energy before my strike. Now, I am at home so I can find amble energy to answer your queries.

      Although both of us are Wahyanites, I think we are using very different value systems, correct me if I am wrong. I am using Veil of Igno­rance, and you are using the vested interest of a Wahyanite. It is natural that different value systems come up with different conclusions. That’s why real education is all about value.

      First of all, thank you very much for agreeing with me that discussion is mean­ing­less if one insists that he will dis­cuss a topic only if he can exclude all the per­spec­tives he wants to exclude. Based on this, most of your arguments, if not all, do not stand.

      I don’t agree with you that it is meaningless to include whatsoever aspects I want to discuss in the discussion as education is an enlightening process. If we preset the purview of the discussion. This is an obfuscation act.

      Good performance in public examination, Competing in Division I Athletic Meet and English Debate Champion were not the only achievements we got in 1985. Good performance in Red Cross and Boy Scout Competitions were always there. I quoted these 3 because these 3 represented 3 very distinct areas of achievement.

      They represents Overall academic achievement, Overall sports achievement and Overall ability to apply academic knowledge in a more real life situation.

      Athletic is very different from all other sports. It involves the largest no. of students, about 100-200, if you want to stay in Division I. No school can stay in Division I without strong commitment and well-organized training by the school itself. It is the best representation of the sports achievement of a school. If you understand why DBS recruits good athletes all the time in order to stay top in Division I in addition to school-based training, you should aware how keen the competition is in Division I. (Though we and many other schools don’t recruit students for this purpose.)

      Take Swimming as a counter example, do you really think that the good swimmers in our Division I team are trained by the school ? You can also find similar cases in many other sports team.

      I definitely saw some tangible achievement in school when I returned to the school in 1997. I saw a new toilet next to the chapel that was not there in those old days.

      On another hand, whether you agree with the school supervisor doesn’t mean you are correct. If I agreed with the judgement of the supervisor, I wouldn’t wage this campaign. Could you see the evasive, denial and autocratic attitude of the school supervisor in my email dialogue with him ?

      For this reason, I never think that Mr Tam is the only one whom should hold sole responsibility. He would retire in 3 years when I resigned. If he was the only reason, I would stay put. The decline of Wah Yan started long before Mr Tam became the principal. If you have studied the school albums, the brightest time of Wah Yan was in 50s’ and 60s’. The decline of the school was seeded when Fr. Ryan was ousted by his four consulters by calumny. Reference : Thomas F.Ryan SJ From Cork to China and Windsor Castle 1889-1971 pg 90. The ruling of Mr. Tam is only the final stage of the decline and he only accelerated the process drastically.

      Now, it is the time to answer your specific queries :

      1. I never shrug off my duty. Share of responsibility should be considered using the concept of partition of liability commonly using at court.

      Responsibility of a Chemistry teacher
      Among the last 15 years, I was only a chemistry teacher teaching mainly Alevel in more than 90% of my lessons in WY. I managed to devise a teaching method which can double the credit rate of Alevel and raise the passing rate of Alevel to almost 100%. How can you say I am shrugging off my responsibility ? This is simply a libel.

      Who should be responsible for the system failure ?
      I am not the one who designed the current system. I should not be responsible for the system failure. Those who designed it should. I only wanted to redesign the system but my effort was in vain.

      Just the opposite, I helped the school handled many tricky tasks that nobody dare handled in all these years though they were not my direct responsibility.

      IT initiative
      For instance, the government commissioned an IT initiative a long time ago. The government gave the school 5 years to complete the task. 4 years passed. The school only achieved 50% of the target and nobody knew how to finish it. Mr Tam summoned me, and I accepted the challenge. He appointed me the IT coordinator of the school. It was supposed that IT coordinator could be freed from teaching job as the post was paid by government funding. I helped him finish the government assigned target in 1 year and teach 2 classes of Alevel Chemistry at the same time .

      Staff Appraisal
      I was the only one in the school who dare handled the staff appraisal system. The school was condemned by EDB for over 10 years for not having a proper staff appraisal system. This was once reported by newspaper. Nobody dare handled it because it infringed the vested interest of every staff member. I volunteered to help the school to create one. When I was struggling through the final stage of the power game, the management withdrew all their support to me all in a sudden for the sake of harmony. The only feeling that I had was that I was betrayed.

      Faulty NSS curriculum design
      About 6 years ago, when I discovered that the NSS curriculum was wrongly designed and no schools would be able to finish the syllabus within the time available. I raised the issue in a School Management Meeting but nobody listened except the school principal of WYK. For this reason, WYK changed their time table but we didn’t.

      Being the Temporary LS panel and Developing the Web Version of Vocablearning
      The LS panel chairman was seconded to curriculum development council 5 years ago for 2 years. He asked me to look after the LS panel when he was not in WY. Though this was not my responsibility, I did the job for him. At that particular instance, the school had already chosen English as the medium of instruction to teach LS.

      As a responsible panel chairman though temporary, my first urgent job is to find out whether our students have enough ability to use English to do the subject. I asked school office to give me all lesson substitutions possible after the departure of my 2 classes of Form 7 Chemistry. I did an extensive survey on the reading and comprehension ability of the students in reading English newspaper. From the data I collected, my gut feeling is that less than 10% of our students have the ability to read English newspaper with a reasonable level of comprehension. The diversity of reading and comprehension ability in a class could be as high as 40 times.

      It was impossible for any LS teachers to handle such a situation without substantial improvement in English reading ability. In the summer that followed, I converted the original standalone VocabMaster version into the current Web Vocablearing version and coerced my daughter to accept an interview with I-Cable in order to get an advertisement footage to publicize the platform. When I showed the footage to the parents of F1-F3 students, it was very welcomed by the parents but the responses from the teachers and the principal was just the opposite.

      I tried to include Vocablearning in F3 LS assessment as a continuous assessment. The result was not good enough to change the situation. The students could excuse that the low mark on the report card was due to his poor performance in LS rather than not doing Vocablearning. A separate mark on the report must be stated to allow every student to face himself in order to make the project successful.

      The assessment criterion of Vocablearning was effort-based. The grade a student got solely depended on the number of days with the exercise done. According to educational theory, effort-based assessments are much better than performance-based assessments as the later depend on a lot of factors beyond the control of a student. e.g. innate IQ, family influence. A student should be responsible for what he can control, not what he cannot control in order to create a good feedback-loop.

      I just couldn’t accept that “A top student got an H on his report card” could be used as a valid reason to ban the project. This was the fault of the student and the school management who accepted the excuse. This was neither the fault of the system nor the assessment criterion.

      Please don’t libel me anymore.

      2.Have you ever heard of this kind of horrible figures in any schools other than WYCHK ? I am a chemistry teacher. Very advanced chemistry is all about probability e.g. computed chemistry or quantum chemistry. According to my professional knowledge, if the occurrence of all these in one single school is random, I guesstimate that the chance would be less than a millionth. After the campaign, I would ask some of my actuary friends for their opinions.

      3.I do something that nobody can do. They do what they can do. Nobody can do everything for everybody. I only use my special skill to tackle the linchpin.

      4.Finger pointing game means that someone puts the blame on the others and evades his own responsibility. Yes, I am condemning the management but I am not evading my responsibility. Therefore, I am not playing finger pointing game.

      Lastly, please don’t play with the words. I asked you to read my letter of application verbatim in my last reply but you went to read your last message verbatim. Why did you change the subject of the discussion ? Did you do so mistakenly or deliberately ?

      Regarding my reasoning about the freedom of press, please refer to my reply to WYnite, Point 4, on this page.

      I have answered so many questions from you. It is your turn to answer my questions. Don’t take evasive action. I wouldn’t approve your post anymore if you don’t answer my questions and keep strafing me with yours.

      After you have answered my questions, please exchange question with me one by one.

      My questions for you are :

      1. Should peace and har­mony be attained through sac­ri­fice of the inno­cent?

      2. Do you under­stand what is going on in the inter­nal oper­a­tion that causes the con­tin­u­ous degra­da­tion?

      3. How do you see what the shap­ing forces behind the direc­tion of devel­op­ment of human his­tory are ?

      4. What’s your opin­ion on the role of an activist in a civic soci­ety ?

      5. Do you pre­fer a civic soci­ety or autoc­racy ?

      6. How can a civic society be built practically in the real world step by step ?

      • lol on 13 February, 2012 at 12:17 pm
      • Reply

      you sound like a person who is not a boy. =0=
      i can recognise your (in)formal “legal” language. lol
      you’re so scary to me, “boy”! :S

    • Brian on 13 February, 2012 at 2:27 pm
    • Reply

    Hi Mr Paul Yip

    I’m studying in Island School Year 10. I left WYHK when I was in Form 2 so I know who you are. Personally I don’t quite believe that a student will be able to get into college more easily by doing Vocablearning. I’ve tried Vocablearning for an year and to be honest I don’t find it as useful as you say it is. I understand that you’re doing this hunger strike because you love WYHK but I don’t really agree with your actions. Perhaps you could find a more civilized way of presenting your thoughts. I don’t agree with your ‘theory’ that there’s a huge language barrier, if there is any, it’s probably just a small issue.
    I’m currently studying in an ESF school doing IGCSE First Language and frankly I don’t find it difficult so I can assure you the english standard in WYHK isn’t difficult at all, here we’re reading Of Mice And Men, Macbeth, Romeo and Juliet etc and I remember reading Two Weeks with the Queen back in WYHK when I was in F2 so you know what I mean.

    1. That’s good. Try to get my bounty of $500,000.

      • Tony on 14 February, 2012 at 3:00 am
      • Reply

      ========================================================
      1. You’re studying in Island School.
      2. You studied in WY and know Paul Yip.
      3. You don’t find VocabLearning useful.
      4. The hunger strike is not civilized.
      5. The language barrier is a small issue.
      ========================================================
      6. You find it easy to study First Lang English so WY is good at English.
      7. You read English books so he knows what you mean.
      ========================================================
      Be humble, little Brian, if you’re to score an A* in First Lang English.
      =__=
      ========================================================

    • JL on 14 February, 2012 at 9:38 pm
    • Reply

    Is there any deadline for the school to respond?

    1. The school will hold a School Management Meeting in March to decide.

        • JL on 14 March, 2012 at 8:46 pm
        • Reply

        One month had passed. So where are we up to now?

        1. I am still clarifying with the school administration about their decision on my petition. If the result goes nowhere, the 21-day hunger strike will restart from Day 1 on 12th of April.

    • Marcus on 15 February, 2012 at 8:37 pm
    • Reply

    Hi mr Paul Yip,
    will you restart your hunger strike?

    1. Depends on the reply of the school.

    • Leon Ho on 16 February, 2012 at 4:36 am
    • Reply

    Hi Paul Sir,

    I have been keeping track of your news and articles written by you in the past months. I think vocablearning has considerable room of improvement as an application to the underlying educational and linguistic theories you relied on. I respect but do not completely agree with why you don’t want to involve anyone in your task. If the school allows you to carry out your rescue plan, at some point you will need a lot more helping hands; in any event you have utilized the media to bring your message to more people. I also am not well convinced (though I do not oppose) that a “reveal and revive” method you have in mind will work in a predominantly Chinese community, even if I completely agree that turning a blind eye will worsen the situation.

    However, putting aside these minor differences, I agree completely with your observations in Wah Yan, because that is consistent with what I saw and felt when I was in Wah Yan. I am also sure that an honest Wahyanite who has some knowledge on other elite local schools will agree with your observations, even they may not agree with you on how Wah Yan should be in the ideal world. You took the effort to convert truthful but scattered impression and anecdotal recollections, which should be shared by all honest Wahyanites and teachers, into data that is comprehensible to a neutral outsider. I appreciate that. These data are truth but not the complete truth, but they should be sufficient to serve as a wake up call.

    A wake up call is bad to certain people, such as the school management committee, current and past students (and to a certain extent, their parents) who need or want to benefit from Wah Yan’s past reputation, alumni whose sons are in Pun U Wah Yan etc. This is completely understandable because they are all in a game of musical chairs, or in a bubble property market. In carrying out your vision, these people may, intentionally or unintentionally, confuse your messages by sidetracking from the cold hard facts you presented, delay your timetable in carrying out your vision. On this issue, I think there are better ways for you to emphasize your role as a reporter. From what I see on this website and other Internet platforms, 99% of the criticisms related to you are directed to the reporter but not on the facts reported. I wonder if these people will be equally zealous in criticizing the reporters when they hear truthful but unpleasant news from the media.

    I don’t know what else I could have said or done, given you clearly have a vision based on observations which I agree with, and you think you don’t need external help at this stage. I conclude my support to you with this:
    自反而不縮,雖褐寬博,吾不惴焉;自反而縮,雖千萬人,吾往矣

    Leon

  2. Dear Mr. Yip

    Greetings and wishing you well.

    For your consideration:

    1. In persevering to do something, whether it is important to understand what is being done, who are you dealing with, and what is the best approach.

    2. Whether there is more than one way to succeed in the English Language and in learning generally.

    Best wishes!

    • Wahyanite 2000 on 23 February, 2012 at 9:20 am
    • Reply

    People should start looking at the matter from the more fundamental level rather than judging merely whether his actions are “radical” or represent personal vendetta. It’s beyond argument that the English level of Wah Yan students are steadily going south over the years — let’s face it. The point is, who can propose an effective method/ framework to remedy the situation? So far, I have failed to see the slightest hint of constructive alternative opinions from those who pointed guns at Paul Sir without even having tried out his vocab software.

    Perhaps HK society is a still too conservative for innovative and progressive pedagogical methods or approaches for expressing opinions. Why can’t we be more encouraging to teachers who actually care for a change? Reformations were never successful on the first attempt, but history shall remember those with the vision and courage to make change.

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