Spiritual Development: The Cornerstone of Life
At KTS, we advocate five education core values in our School: Truth, Life, Love, Justice and Family. These are also the values that we are constantly developing through our spiritual formation that are coincides with our School mottos Faithfulness, Intelligence, Sincerity and Forgiveness. Through developing our spiritual faith, we understand God is granting us all the things we need for our lives and protect us from temptations and unfavourable consequences. We could also develop our appreciation to our lives and the world, thus we can truly feel grateful and learn how to appreciate each other and our beautiful world.
Our school serves as the place to nurture the people in the future, resonating the way the Bible has done for the world. Because of the foundation of Catholic Education that has produced righteous, well-known names in the history, we believe that we have the right to use the knowledge from our religion to teach our children to become fully informed, well-educated and ethical citizens. It is the children that will decide what they want to become in their lives and push the social, moral and cultural change in our country. Having a strong spiritual experience is important to our education at KTS as it fosters positive mindsets in our next generation to drive the world toward a better place to live in.
In our School, there are many stages of spiritual development, which include spiritual goals, religious liturgies, and copiously fledged student support programmes. We understand that we are given the right choice to develop our students’ spiritual maturity to enrich and give meanings to their own future. There is a common belief that religious affairs will automatically get into school's curriculum without much effort in a religious school, but this is not true. A well developed and implemented religious curriculum should be there to enhance the religious awareness of our students.
Spiritual Development and Faith in God
Faith is not something that you can receive at the drop of the hat. But a strong sense of spirituality develops when you chose to believe in something stronger than yourself. A strong faith is like a wood beam that will support you as you grow. The Lord has a different vision for each one of us. We believe that is His plan. So, we respect and serve Him without fail.
All of us, or most of us, have come through some tough times in our lives. Our KTS Family atmosphere and prayers are two things that help us live each day and keep us going. The core value “Family” keeps us connected to our School and recognize our family members and let us know that they love us even though we have problems. Pray, and we ask God to protect us. He is always there.
It is also our common convention to learn and read the scriptures of the word of God every day. It is a very important step in developing our faith. This is why we have a good number of scriptures for our students to use as a guide across the school year and displayed on our campus.
Developing Faith in God and Being Grateful
The world sometimes feels chaotic and becomes hopeless. But the Lord is the only source of truth, love, light, salvation and direction for our lives. God is our one true helper and comforter. By developing our spiritual faith, we are being prepared to deal with the real challenges that life brings. Our spiritual faith has us always aware of God and being grateful. We start to see God in everything and anything that happen, and this knowledge helps us to recognize the good and bad in others. Developing lovingness for others and in our world as we develop our spiritual faith, we also develop a lovingness for God and people in our daily lives. Because of our spiritual faith, we understand that everything we have in life is a gift from God and that God has a purpose for our life.
When we realize how much we have been blessed with everything we need and more, then we start to appreciate everything around us. Such message is even stronger under the pandemic while we are constantly under convalescence and got reminded of the preciousness of life, health, family and we always need to remind ourselves on what we need to treasure when everything will fade away at the end.
Learning to be grateful is one of the most important life demeanors because we don't know how much time we have left on earth, and we have to make the best out of it. In all, you can start to live each day with purpose and with gratitude in your heart and will have the ability to feel happiness.
Positive Education is a game-changer for students of all abilities
While interacting with so many brilliant kids in KTS, we want to extend further on helping them understand their “charisma” so that they can actualise their vision and develop aspiration to their bright future. Having a clear understanding toward their character strengths is one of the keys to success for every youth as every human being has certain strengths in his/her character that can empower themselves to become a stronger person. Such strengths can build up their confidence and ability to adapt and conquer adversity, build up endurance and transfer the knowledge to combat future challenges.
What is Positive Education
Positive Education, is the philosophy that kids learn to understand their own strengths and believe in their capabilities. Every kid should understand that they can be their own role model and no one can do their job like them. Positive Education is all about developing potential and developing passion to pursue one's dreams. Hence, we have come up with Positive Education in KTS. All youngsters must understand their strengths and own role models that are assisting them. The mode of implementation in KTS is based on the research from global leaders not only to help the kids, but also to give them access to better opportunities in their lives. We have collaborated with the Positive Education Laboratory at the City University of Hong Kong on the development of social empowerment, moral education and overall development of all the kids. These are the primary objectives on building a more comprehensive KTS growth framework in the years to come.
Increasing engagement and strengths
In our daily school practice, we have invited our students to apply the ideas in analyzing themselves via the character strengths. There is excitement in their eyes, and each time their confidence and engagement increase. We hope to invite more kids in KTS to be engaged in the Positive psychology mindset, create a platform for many more talented youths to be brought out of their shell and discover themselves.
The manifestation of the person's strength in his/her character strengthens the confidence of the youth by the ability of having clear understanding of their own character and vision. We believe one should create his/her character strength to empower his/her character and helps him/her to be successful in life. Personality strengths are knowledge that is effective for the youth and is the basic factor for their growth as a person. We should help students to develop their basic needs in personality strength so that he/she can be secure to face any future challenges.
A positive attitude towards life can be a powerful tool to overcome challenges. Most kids already have this attitude and do not need any special push but building their metacognitive skills to monitor their own progress sure helps.
I am usually asked by my students, whether parents understand what the future holds for them. The best answers are that parents have their own fears and their own visions. Today parents mostly work for their income, hence they might not be very open to share their vision or concern about their children. A positive attitude can easily facilitate children to tackle the tough situations they face in their lives. Encouraging kids, especially for those with challenges, to have self-confident is an essential part of life.
Increasing social and emotional intelligence
Human emotions are our foundations. Knowing and recognizing our own emotions allows us to know and see others around us. When we understand our emotions, we can appreciate and understand others better. Thus, we can relate more to each other. Positive Education model we used (PERMA model) can help students develop true self-awareness. By improving emotional and social intelligence, a lot of students were able to recognize their own strengths and weaknesses, master them, and overcome the various obstacles that came their way. Moreover, with the positive help from their teachers, they were able to access their capabilities and not think of themselves as limited. They took initiative and stepped out of their social or academic comfort zones.
Embracing “Positive Ed” in KTS
Positive Education is a common denominator that underlies every single human being and can be developed at every level. Positive Education does not mean mere addition of education of a particular kind to the existing education. For the youth who are born into a disadvantaged and underprivileged circumstance, such education would be even more than a major milestone to step in the path of normalization. We could see numerous successful role models in the society that having a strong mind can empower oneself to become successful leaders is various walks of life. As an education sector intervention, Positive Education is a perfect opportunity for every student to become a person with vision in life, and that is what we are doing now in KTS.
The Future of Education: What Students Should Know about the Future of Learning
Coding and AI are the future
As an educator, we need to scrutinise new elements in the curriculum all the time. We need to focus on the development of the curriculum that can fit the development of our students to combat future challenges in this extremely dynamic world. Our curriculum should help students understand the developmental needs and this is such crucial task for teachers to help students achieve higher. To equip our students well, one of the most important aspects to prepare our students is the knowledge in coding and Artificial Intelligence (AI). With such knowledge, students can interact with various services.
Nowadays, education focuses to equip our students with the knowledge of coding, however, coding has so many aspects that makes it very specific and dynamic. The programming language itself is also becoming an indispensable part of our everyday life. The demand for more AI robots is going to increase due to the existence of huge industry that will benefit from this learning. Coding for various services and the automated provision of other services will flourish. Just to mention one example: Online ticketing through popular websites like Booking.com, Expedia and many others will change the world.
Coding and AI are not just for computer scientists
To help students enhance their practical skills, it's not a matter of coding in computer science department, but coding should be integrated in everyday curriculum. Coding and AI are the future skills required to create our life. Teachers need to acquire enough knowledge of teaching students in coding and AI to students. Programming is not limited to Google. As far as I know, Google are not the only company who have expertise in AI. They are one of the biggest computer specialists. Other companies like Apple, Facebook, Alibaba and Amazon are also very important players in this area of AI. And there are lots of them and there is huge market out there for our students to explore.
The knowledge of coding and AI
If the students are able to build their knowledge in this field, they will be able to interact with various services of the world, so the students will also build confidence and boost their self-esteem. Though, not all the students will want to get computer science degree, but they can still create their own products and services and improve their living standard as well. The future of learning Coding, AI and Science is something that can help students develop their skills and will also help students to be competitive and ready for the future. For a student of Secondary one or higher, he/she can easily learn these concepts. So introducing coding and AI is the important learning concept in the curriculum. KTS is pledged to provide advanced coding and AI experience for all students in our curriculum. We also provide the platform for our students to further develop their talents and skills in robotics and STEM areas.
The important role of AI
Besides, Artificial Intelligence has already taken the world by a storm. It has started its implementation in more and more sectors, including Education and Healthcare. As it is widely known, AI is the new factor for the education system in the era of Digital Age. AI can be termed as the most advanced form of machine learning. It is defined as the pattern recognition with software program that recognises patterns automatically and learn from previous occurrences. AI helps us solve problem from the original domain instead of individual fields. It helps in learning and absorbing information in an automated and quantified way. AI helps us in predicting the future and it is capable of learning and predict the future better than humans.
In this ever-changing world, we need to be updated with the changing demands of the market. And knowing about the future will help our students. And one of the ways to prepare for the future is to create the knowledge of the emerging technologies. Future education is not just preparing our students for tomorrow but to prepare them for the advancement of this industry. The future is uncertain, but education should be. The development of technology in education, training and education should be one of the foci to make the future meaningful.