Dear parents, students, alumni and friends,
We Christians always speak of counting our blessings. This is not always an easy thing to do, especially when times are hard. Indeed, one might think: what blessings are there to count amid the raging COVID-19 pandemic? As we bid farewell to this extraordinary academic year, let us take the time to reflect on our experiences and remind ourselves of the abundant blessings that God has showered upon St Stephen’s.
We are blessed to have dedicated teachers who care. Class suspension meant that teaching and learning could not continue in their usual form; we had to be innovative. In a matter of days, teachers drew up home learning plans and started teaching online. The learning curve was steep, but there was nothing more important than maintaining the quality of teaching and learning. While we could not meet students face to face, pastoral care never ceased: class teachers were always at hand and remained in close contact with parents. Our guidance teachers even prepared bags of goodies to cheer our students up when classes finally resumed. The outpourings of happiness and affection on the first day of school were simply beautiful.
We are also blessed that classes resumed in a smooth and orderly fashion. The vastness of our campus and the provision of boarding services posed significant challenges to our anti-pandemic efforts; we had to be resourceful. To safeguard everybody’s health, we arranged to have an anti-bacterial and anti-viral coating (MAP-1, i.e. Multilevel Antimicrobial Polymer) sprayed in all classrooms, special rooms, halls and dormitories. On top of regular cleaning and disinfection of school facilities, a series of preventive measures have been adopted. In line with government-recommended social distancing measures, separators have been erected in the dining halls and washrooms. Sterilising hand rub is provided in all classrooms and special rooms for the sake of personal hygiene. Our campus is now once again a bustling place full of life and laughter.
Every cloud has a silver lining. We might have lost four months of school time, but it is through setbacks that we grow. This pandemic has shown that St Stephen’s is, and will continue to be, a blessed family whose members are innovative and resourceful.
I look forward to seeing you all in the 2020-21 academic year.
Ms Carol Yang