Hong Kong has recorded some 6,000 confirmed COVID-19 cases so far. It has been seeing dozens of new infections daily since the onset of an outbreak linked to dance venues. Across Asia, many countries and cities that had previously kept the coronavirus largely under control are seeing a rise in transmissions. A few days ago, the US caseload surpassed 12 million, and the number of daily cases in Europe is still well above 100,000. In the face of this dreadful resurgence of COVID-19, various governments have opted to adopt a conservative stance to contain the spread. An array of strengthened restrictive measures are therefore in place to regulate economic activities, medical services, commuting modes and schooling arrangements, etc. The situation of our University is without exclusion. Under the new normal, teacher-student interaction and peer support cannot be exercised as flexible as in the past during when face-to-face tuition was the consistent normal. Campus life has also become vacuous since the vibrant CUHK ecosystem fell silent.……
There is no evidence that the phenomena like being free-riders in group projects and hiring imitated writers for coursework have stemmed from the above new normal of schooling, but they do exist and have become more acute recently. These conditions not only provoke complaints or conflicts among students, but most importantly defeat the purpose of education thereby ruining the healthy development of youth. Education is the process of facilitating the acquisition of knowledge, skills, values and beliefs. The two “I”s namely “intelligence” and “integrity” make up the protective duo in students’ learning. There is also no shortcut to intellectuality. The pass/fail grading system may help untangle a number of awkward circumstances relating to virtual lessons e.g. cessation of laboratory experiments and preclusion from clinical practicum. Asking for its universal application is, however, tantamount to disparaging academic ideals, efforts and achievements.
I am confident that the majority of you is supportive of my proposed two “I”s in the context of educational pursuit. In other areas, this protective duo prevails as well. I believe, at this significant moment, everyone is yearning for a large-scale mass-vaccination programme, which will be executed in a fair manner, to curb the COVID-19 pandemic. The success of it hinges, to a large extent, on the scientists’ intelligence and the administrators’ integrity. Let us practice these good qualities together.
I·CARE Centre for Whole-person Development