PLK Sprouts Foundation and FCC Secondary Education Centre
The Secondary Education Services Centre (SESC) operates classes after school to support the language development of the students following the model of the Language Training Programme and Children’s Learning Centre. The students receive 1 ½ hours of English and 1 hour of storytelling each week and select from one elective class of 1 – 2 hours per week from a range of English skills courses, business skills courses, fun courses and Putonghua courses. Classes are small and are taught by native teachers who favour fun, interactive activities to increase the interest of the students in English and improve their vocabulary and communication skills. This level of teaching, as well as the range of classes on offer has been shown to increase the participation of the students and make them more active learners.
Internally the centre is supervised in administrative matters by the school Vice-Principal. The Assistant Director of Studies liaises with management to ensure the centre is following the procedures of Po Leung Kuk and operating in an appropriate manner. The Director of Studies oversees the curriculum and staffing matters related to the operations of the centre.
The primary Education Service Centre (PLK, Sprouts Foundation and FCC Services Centre) has been operating since October 2011 to provide English, Putonghua and Storytelling lessons to primary school children from disadvantaged families living in the Tai Wai area. This after-school programme is designed to make learning English and Putonghua fun and interesting and is based in the PLK Dr. Jimmy Wong Chi Ho Primary School adjacent to PLK CW Chu College. It shares the same aims and mission to improve the language skills and confidence of the students in order to improve their opportunities for their future, as the Language Training Programme in PLK and the Children's Learning Centre in Kwai Chung. With the management experience and support from donors, it has been enjoying overwhelming success and has received a lot of positive comments from the students and parents, school teachers and social workers on how the children improve remarkably after receiving the language training.
Up until the opening of the Secondary Centre in September of 2013, however, the ESC students graduated from the programme at the end of primary 6, as the current provision was for primary level only. There was no complementary service which could carry these students through their secondary career and into the working world or to further education, which risked a loss of existing investment in these students as they may lose much of the knowledge and skills that they have developed within the ESC through lack of continued practice and exposure. The expansion programme was therefore a logical step and the proposal was aimed at extending the provision by the setting up a new Education Centre targeting secondary students, to continue the benefits of the language learning experience for them.
The SESC operates from within the Po Leung Kuk C W Chu College which agreed to participate in this exciting programme. This is a band 3 school which caters to young people in the local area with more than 50 % of the student body receiving financial support from the government, either through Social Security payments, CSSA, or full or half school textbook subsidy.
Within this school approximately 15 % of students have special educational needs. The majority of these students are at lower levels, possibly as they can choose to leave at 15 years of age and move to more appropriate settings for them, perhaps in the workplace or in a vocational centre.
Overall 22 % of the students are living in single parent families, approximately 3 % are living with their grandparents and almost 26 % are new arrivals from the mainland. This student body has many needs which can be supported through the provision of this EC.