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Saturday 10-Mar-2018
【信報】成也IB,敗也IB

 

我國有粥粉麵飯這偉大四大發明,證明「一樣米養百樣人」是行不通的。同一道理,想以單一課程的框架來涵蓋所有學生的需要,亦只會問題多多。International Baccalaureate (IB) 的理念確實有眼光有見地,始作俑者堅持學習要靈活全面,放眼世界,確是值得讚賞的,也絕對能為同學上大學做好準備。然而lB再理想,卻也未必是每位同學仔的那杯茶,強把這一個框框套在所有學生身上,可能會惹來反効果。

有家長帶了一對龍鳳胎來找我傾談,爸媽想送他們去英國,問我揀傳統A Level學校好,抑或行lB的好?龍鳳胎樣貌一個餅印,但性格和學習方式卻南轅北轍,訥言的哥哥是典型理科人,說話扼要重邏輯。開朗的妹妹則牙尖嘴利,能言善道。我越跟龍鳳胎談話,心裡越堅信要為他們找兩間不同學校。妹妹明顯是適合國際文憑的,填鴨式教育會令她讀書讀得非常痛苦,但哥哥在過度自由的學習環境下,能力可能得不到最強發揮,最終恐也會讀得不開心。為龍鳳胎個別發展著想,我建議他們去到英國要在學習上分道揚鑣了。

英國有三間學校的lB辦得非常出色,分別是St Clare’s, Oxford,Westbourne、St Leonard’s ,三校未來十五日會來港辦升學活動,我推薦給龍鳳胎的妹妹,也鼓勵任何考慮讓子女讀lB的家長把握機會了解這三間學校。英國近年不少學校開始棄A Level而改行lB,幸而大部分學校之所以改制,並非出於人做我做的羊群心理。反觀香港的國際學校幾乎全部一窩風改行lB,甚至連本地個別傳統名校也不甘後人,對lB前仆後繼。我想再三強調,lB的執行相當複雜,要行得好並不是件容易事,需要學校上下多方配合。不單止學校的時間表管理要做好,老師對lB內容的也要瞭如指掌,才可能讓同學仔有最好的發揮。有家長向我反映,香港有行lB的學校不少老師甚至沒有相關資歷,或只是邊教邊學。我聽了搖頭,如此草率行事,課程怎可能辦得好?lB的潛力無限,但假若學校純粹出於商業考量,只因有需求有市場有利可圖便去做,整個制度便會大大變質兼被糟蹋了。

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#Hot Topic
1 Boarding Know-It-All 2 UK Universities/ UK Higher Education
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Education Experts

Samuel Chan, the winner of Alumni Awards 2017, is the founder of Britannia. He had studied in the UK since the age of 9 for 15 years and achieved his master degree in International Political Economy at University of Warwick. Now he shares his experiences and professional advice in education columns in Hong Kong’s major newspapers.

...

Mabel Chan is the Principal Consultant of Britannia. Having studied in both the UK and the US, she is an expert in school matching for overseas education. She writes education columns for Sing Tao Daily and The Standard, and answers questions arising from parents and students patiently.

...

MB Cheung, our senior consultant, has been writing education columns for major local newspapers for more than 25 years. With his experience and unique insights, he shares a variety of tips and advice on overseas education for the readers (and DSE students)

...
#School Analysis
Considering its reputation, Oundle School may not catch up to Eton, Wycombe Abbey and else top elite schools. However, Oundle’s academic performance is among the best in the United Kingdom. As a traditional top boarding school, Oundle pays huge attentions to student’s holistic development, by providing them diversified extra-curricular activities. In addition, Oundle still implements the House Dining System, which is rarely remaining among uk boarding schools. It is also one of the reasons why Hong Kong parents making a beeline for.
The ratio of teachers and students in Bromsgrove School is 1:8, which is lower than the average among uk boarding schools. In addition, according to my school visit experience, Bromsgrove has the best facilities, that it is undoubtedly one of the best three campuses in the UK. Besides, Bromsgrove spares no expense to provide students comfortable environment, it even invests on the nearby hotel and transfers it into dormitories. As a result, students can possess the “5-star enjoyment” on campus. To conclude, Bromsgrove is definitely a prospective and globalised uk boarding school.
Brighton College is Britain’s premier private school and one of the Hong Kong parents’ favourites. To understand a boarding school, despite of looking at its educational tenet, diversified extra-curricular activities and academics results, it is essential to observe the boldness of the principal. 10 years ago, after Mr. Richard Cairns taking up the duty of the Brighton College’s principal, the school ranking raises from the 150th to the top 20th. In addition to promoting educational reformation, Mr Cairns is such a good principal, that he still strives for maintaining students’ curiosity at the same time.
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