SCMP Wednesday, August 9, 2000
Keen learners' second chance
NG TZE WEI
Mature students have delivered a message of hope to teenagers who do badly in their exams, telling them: "It's never too late."
New Open University graduates who are familiar with the pain of failure have offered a ray of hope to worried Secondary Five students. Although the Open University places less emphasis on entrance requirements, none of the graduates doubts the institution's high standards.
"The Open University provides keen learners with a second chance, not a second-class chance," said Lai Shek-nam, the university's acting president.
Leung Siu-ping, a mother of three, was preparing for her Master of Education exams when her mother died and another family member was in hospital. "I never gave up. I once took an exam six times before I passed. I'm determined to put a full stop to whatever I do."
Maths graduate Leung Kam-keung, who works for the Housing Department, failed his HKCEE and A-levels twice. "Studying is not for exams. It is not for others but for yourself.
"Just try your best so you will have no regrets," Mr Leung advised.
Husband and wife Lai King-hang and Lai Cheung Miu-ling, who jointly obtained their Master of Education, felt the benefits of studying together.
"Studying is not a lone endeavour. Each person has different qualities and faces different turns in life. The most important thing is to choose a learning mode that suits yourself," Mr Lai said.
Mrs Lai said: "One should not blame the education system if one hasn't tried hard enough. If you have tried your best, then just accept things as they are."
The couple's next goal is to one day graduate with their young daughter.
The Open University is the first university in Hong Kong to focus on distance learning.