This will be, I hope, my final weekly update to you during this current crisis.
When Covid-19 first arrived in Hong Kong – and the Government took the decision to suspend in-school classes – nobody could have guessed that the pandemic would spread so far, go on for so long, nor that it would have the life-changing impact that it has. Our world will never be the same again.
And, while the situation has been horrible in so many ways, having to confront something so awful has, I think, forced all of us to think closely and deeply about the things that matter most to us.
In amongst our busy lives, it is often easy to think only about the two feet in front of you – to worry about the events of the day and to rush from one challenge to the next – without having the time, or the inclination, to stop and look at all the wonder that surrounds us.
The pandemic has changed that. I think that all of us now understand better how precious life is – and how many things we have to be thankful for.
On Monday morning, I visited two of our schools. As you know, visiting a school is not an unusual occurrence for me: before this current period brought it to a sudden and crashing halt, I started most days in one of our schools. However, I have to tell you that I have never enjoyed walking through the gates more than I did on Monday morning.
Yes, things were different – the layout was not what I was used to, everyone was wearing a mask and, of course, only half of the children were there – but it was just so special to be there. I was only in the schools for a couple of hours – but every minute was one to savour.
The ringing of the bell, the chatter in the corridors, that amazing sound hundreds of feet make when they are rushing between one classroom and the next. All of it was wonderful. I could have stayed all day to listen to it.
I know that these past few months have been difficult at times and I know that, for many of you, the future is laced with uncertainty.
However, I want to give you my assurance that every one of our teachers, our educational assistants, our office staff, our cleaners, our catering staff and our security guards have been refreshed and renewed by the joy of having children back in school. We live by the promise that we make to you when you entrust your sons and daughters to us:
We will do everything we can to help every student be the best that they can be.
I want to thank you, from the bottom of my heart, for all of your support these past weeks and months. And to our kindergarten parents – I give you my promise: When we can get your children safely back in class, we will make sure that we have a celebration that will raise the roof!
Thank you so very much.
Chief Executive Officer
English Schools Foundation