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Mr. LAI Chan Pong will be joining us!

posted Jul 30, 2010, 1:31 PM by Alex Man   [ updated Aug 2, 2010, 9:41 PM ]
We are glad to let you know that our beloved teacher Mr. LAI Chan Pong (Math Chai) from WYK will be joining the conference! Here's an article written by Lai Sir:


Reflections of a retired WYK teacher

By Lai Chan Pong (“Maths Chai”)

For the 12th Wan Yan Alumni Conference, LA, USA

28 July 2010


Hi, dear students, I hope you still remember me. I am Lai Sir, whom you endearingly nicknamed as “Maths Chai” since I joined Wah Yan College, Kowloon in 1971.

After working for two years as a tutor in the Department of Mathematics, the Chinese University of Hong Kong, I applied for a Maths teaching post at WYK. That year the School Principal was Fr Reid, and the Assistant Principal was Mr A Ho.  Mr Ho regarded my application for a teaching post in WYK with suspicion.  He found it hard to believe someone teaching in a university would be interested in applying for a teaching post in a secondary school.  But at that time, he said WYK was in need of a Mathematics teacher.  He gave me the job on condition that I could obtain a good testimonial from the Department Head in the Chinese University within the next couple of days.  After submitting the necessary document, I joined the teaching team of WYK on 6th Sept., 1971.

I have taught in WYK for 24 years, teaching F4, F5, F6 and F7 Mathematics.  I’m forever grateful for the school administrative personnel for their support of my teaching as well as my further studies.  This included releasing me from the afternoon classes for my M. Ed. in the University of Hong Kong from 1984 to 1986, and granting me one year’s leave for completing my MSc in the University of Oxford in 1987.

I left WYK for Melbourne, Australia on 22nd Feb., 1995 after the Form 7 class had finished the mock examination.  I was on a scholarship for my doctoral degree. I was also being offered a part-time teaching job by the RMIT University, Melbourne as a lecturer to groups of Master’s degree students. The subjects I taught were statistics, research methodology and report of learning outcomes.

I completed my PhD thesis in the University of Melbourne in 1998. My area is the use of psychometric models to assess students’ performance in multi-component tasks.   After graduation, I was offered a full-time post as a lecturer in the same university.  My job there consisted of lecturing and supervising the higher degree candidates. After four years, I was invited to work in the Australian Council of Education Research as a Senior Research Fellow. My job was mainly to conduct analysis of examination data, test equating and test design. One of our purposes is to help universities to select students in highly competitive undergraduate and post-graduate courses such as Medicine and Law. We also conducted international studies on assessment and literacy/numeracy competence etc. It was a challenging job for me and it has extended my professional horizon. Time flew quickly. After working for five years in the ACER, I decided to take a break in my career and retired in 2008.

Looking back at my career of 40 years, I thank God for His loving guidance.  

There is no better school for me to begin my teaching career than WYK. There, I obtained invaluable wisdom on teaching from the senior colleagues. The harmonious atmosphere among staff members, as well as the respect shown by the school to the teachers, provided great support for me to teach creatively and with flexibility in my own style.

I was not only teaching but also learning together with many industrious and highly intelligent students, who never stopped prompting me with stimulating thoughts, posing me challenging questions, and feeding me with inspiring ideas.  Throughout these 24 years, this interactive cycle of teaching and feeding back from my students helped improve my teaching skills and enrich my Mathematics knowledge.  

Coming to Melbourne, I did fulfil my dreams of obtaining my PhD and teaching in different universities and post-graduate institutes, and yet I still found something missing. It is something I could obtain from no where else but only from the Wah Yan boys -- It is a deep sense of satisfaction and an impelling driving force inspired by my students.   

Today, as a retired teacher of WYK, there is nothing more pleasing than finding my students achieving brilliant success in different professional pursuits and careers. I’m constantly being reminded of the motto on our school badge: “By this sign, we’ll win!” Through the crucifixion of our Lord Jesus Christ, sins and evils were overcome; and men are set free on their way to holiness.  

I would like to end my reflections with a word of encouragement to all my dear former students: Hoisting this badge of Wah Yan, with the concerted efforts of students, teachers, school administrators and supervisors, let’s march on to Excellence! And may God’s name be honoured in whatever we do!