How Women in Education Can Build a Bright Future for Kids and Grow Themselves

Women need to invest in themselves. This was the distilled message of ‘Start from the Heart’, a forum that ran 16 and 17 May organised by Her Village Club at The Westin Qingdao West Coast. Ms Yvonne Ma, YCIS Qingdao Chinese Co-Principal and Ms Claudia Lai, General Manager of Local Management Company, had the pleasure of attending.


Recent years have seen more and more women play a leading role in various aspects of life and work, not just in the home. In the field of education, women are deemed essential as they bring with them a range of sensitive and gracious characteristics along with a high emotional quotient.Mothers should not simply focus on kids but also invest in themselves and their own future development, said Ms Yang Lan, the founder of Her Village Club. While better known as a public person, Ms Lan is also a busy mother with two kids. She believes the time spent with growing children is also a time for parents to build cognitive skills and to embark on new personal explorations.


In the 90-year history of Yew Chung, many excellent female educators have devoted themselves to the field, showering love and care on students while keeping more serious responsibilities in mind. This tradition of caring began with our founders. Back in 1932, deeply committed to making a contribution to the revitalisation of China, Madam Tsang Chor-hang founded the first Yew Chung school in Hong Kong. She strived to be an educationist with foresight, cultivating holistic whole-person development in order to help China grow stronger through a better quality of student-citizen.Returning to Hong Kong from her doctoral studies in ECE, Dr Betty Chan Po-king, Madam Tsang’s daughter, expanded her mother’s vision to become one of Hong Kong’s early childhood education pioneers, always willing to try out bold new ideas and concepts.Yew Chung has now expanded to include Primary and Secondary levels and set up campuses in Hong Kong, Beijing, Shanghai, and other cities in China.


Ms Yvonne Ma and Ms Claudia Lai joined the school in 2009 and 2008 respectively. As high achieving women, they rapidly became energetic representatives of the Yew Chung educational model, with a shared philosophy and drive.


They have demonstrated an innovative, perceptive spirit, always at the frontline of global education. YCIS Qingdao follows the same school charter, principles and practices as other YCIS schools. Our mission is to raise globally competent and compassionate leaders intent on creating a better world with a heart devoted to service. YCIS provides a set of unique, varied and diversified education values, and aims to cultivate students to become fluent in both Chinese and English, to acquire global vision and competitiveness as well as to be a global citizen full of empathy and care.

Ms Ma talked about character education with Ms Yang Lan and three principals from other schools. She underlined that YCIS believes the core purpose of education is character formation and the development of the ‘whole person’ with an open mind, respect for cultural diversity and a sense of commitment and social responsibility. Character building requires the school, families and communities to work together. The forum served to flag off the ‘Qingdao Women Development Plan’. Some parents also took part and picked up views from education specialists and psychologists.It takes 10 years to grow trees, but a hundred years to rear people. For Yew Chung educators – both parents and teachers – learning is a lifelong journey where every child matters. They celebrate and encourage diversity, and pursue the best for each child. Women in education are a beacon of hope for children in search of a brighter future.

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