In the year 1889, in order to establish a new school with the aspiration of instilling the Christian principles and abiding by the teaching of the Gospel to prevent children from entering private family schools, where they were obliged to kneel in adoration of idols, Lei Chai Leong, Fong Keng Him, Lie Tak Shan, working jointly with Lei Yin Si and Yeong Hoi Fong and some others, planned and established a Chinese Christian school, naming it ‘Pui Ching College’ with the implication of nurturing the children in the church so that they would not be diverted from the truth by being placed in private family schools. During the first 30 years after her establishment, Pui Ching encountered a lot of problems and would have, several times, closed down due to financial problems had it not been for the blessings that God had showered upon her.
2. Those years at Tong Shan:
In 1907, in accordance with the long-term plan of school management, Pui Ching raised funds and invested in land at Tong Shan for the construction of a new school building. In 1915, the school encountered serious financial difficulties. Cheong Lup Choi and Cheong Sun Kei founded the ‘Pui Ching Survival Association’. Yeung Hoi Fong declared in deep sorrow, ‘We would rather die ahead of Pui Ching than allow Pui Ching to die by our hands.’ Fortunately, with God’s help, Pui Ching managed to survive another calamity. In 1918, Mr. Wong Kai Ming, an alumnus who was awarded the master’s degree by the Columbia University of the USA, was appointed principal. During the year that marked the school’s 30th anniversary, under the instruction of the school board, he went overseas to raise one hundred and fifty thousand dollars to be used for Pui Ching’s future development. Principal Wong managed to achieve more than the expected amount. Under his leadership, Pui Ching became more and more flourishing and prestigious. Pui Ching graduates were recruited and granted free admission to a number of universities including Ning Nam, Wu Kong, Kum Leng, Yin King, Kwong Wa, Chai Lo in Chai Nam and Hua Chong in Wu Cheong. Pui Ching students were famous all over the country not only in academic proficiency but also in athletics.
3. The war stricken period:
After the September 18 Incident, the Japanese armies invaded our territories. Pui Ching teachers and students, determined to take on the responsibility of defending the country, formed a propaganda team to publicize the concept of patriotism. After the Marco Polo Bridge Incident on July 7, the Japanese soldiers advanced across the frontiers. Pui Ching School moved to Hock Shan. In 1938, the school was relocated in Macau in order to ensure that the work of education would be uninterrupted by war. During the war, with the exception of Macau, there were Pui Ching teachers and students attending lessons in Hock Shan, Peng Sack, Kuai Lin, Hu Nan and KiangXi. Besides trying hard to maintain the quality of teaching and learning, the Pui Ching teachers and students were also actively involved in the work of safeguarding the country against the invaders, including forming propaganda teams to advocate the concept of patriotism, initiating a fund-raising activity known as ‘Everybody Donating One Cent Per Day’, the ‘Spending Less on Clothing Campaign’, the ‘Collecting Winter Clothing Campaign’ and providing free education for the poor children of the refugees. Unfortunately, Principal Wong fell ill owing to long years of hard work and died in Hong Kong in 1939, depriving Pui Ching of the main supportive pillar. In August 1945, the whole country rejoiced at the victory in the war. Pui Ching at once started the work of summoning back the teaching staff. The teachers and students in Macau returned to Kuangzhou in separate groups. In a few months the school campuses of Hong Kong and Kuangzhou were restored one after the other. As a result of the eight-year war, the country had been severely devastated and fields deserted. Pui Ching took on the significant and long-term responsibility of reconstructing the campus. She had thus started a new phase of development in her work of education.
2. Development of Macau Pui Ching
1. Laying the solid foundation:
In 1945, China declared victory in the war. Pui Ching’s teachers and students returned to Guangzhou in separate groups. Macau Pui Ching continued to function as a branch school, maintaining the primary section. Ms. Chiu Peck Lan, wife of the late Principal Wong Kai Meng, acted as Supervisor. In celebration of Macau Pui Ching’s 10th anniversary, four classrooms were built. In 1950, Kuangzhou Pui Ching’s branch school, which had moved to Macau, was renamed ‘Macau Pui Ching Middle School’ with Miss Lei Yim Leng as principal. If 1952, sponsored by Mr. Ho Yin and Mr. Chong Chi Kwong, parents of Pui Ching students, part of the Lou Kau Mansion’s garden was purchased and used as the permanent site of the school. Work of reorganizing the garden and expanding the school campus began immediately. With the help of raised funds, classrooms were built, the lotus pond within the school compound was drained and leveled and the playground was expanded. In addition, another school gate was built on Avenida Horte E. Costa. Equipment was installed in large amounts. A senior secondary section was established. It was only then that the foundation of Macau Pui Ching Middle School was laid.
2. Advancing in the face of hardship:
In 1953, after the transference of Principal Lei Yim Leng, Principal Fu Yue Beng took over. When Principal Fu resigned, Principal Lam Cham took office. During that period, affected by Macau’s political situation, the economy was on the decline, resulting in social instability. Macau Pui Ching also encountered financial difficulties. Nevertheless, the teachers and students worked in co-operation to seek development. When Principal Lam Cham was in office, he managed to ensure the smooth running of the school, striving to go forward despite the difficulties. In 1962, Pui Ching Middle School took the lead in adopting the five-year curriculum in secondary school, starting with Form one. In the autumn of 1967, the curriculum for Form six (the pre-university course) was launched. Every year a great number of graduates succeeded in seeking admission to tertiary institutions in Hong Kong and achieved very good academic results. In 1972, while Principal Lam Cham was still in office, the 75th Anniversary Commemoration Building was constructed and was inaugurated in 1972.
3. Expanding the school campus and seeking enhancement:
Principal Lam Cham retired in 1974 and was succeeded by Principal Kwong Beng Yun. To meet the requirements for school development, the three cardinal principles of education were initiated namely, ‘to raise the quality of education, to improve the teaching and learning environment and to maintain high disciplinary order, prioritizing the need to raise the quality of education’. The curriculum was set and implemented in accordance with those of Hong Kong and Macau. The enhancement of the school campus was achieved through the construction of Academic Block D (inaugurated in 1977), the ‘Pui Ching Building in Commemoration of the 90th Anniversary’ (inaugurated in1978) and Block E, the ‘95th Anniversary Commemoration Building’ (inaugurated in 1984). Pui Ching has always been dedicated to moral education based on Christian beliefs and targeted at serving society. Equal attention was paid to educating students on morality, wisdom, aesthetics, community spirit, physical development and Christian faith, thus advocating the school’s traditional strict academic and disciplinary atmosphere. Principal Kuong Beng Yun was appointed by the Macau governor as a member of Macau’s first Legislative Council. He was reappointed legislator in 1980. In 1981 he was awarded a Medal of Merit of the Professional Class in recognition of his contribution to the education sector.
4. The centenary brilliance:
Principal Kuong Beng Yun retired in 1985 and was succeeded by Principal Hong Hin Ieong. Principal Hong abided by Pui Ching’s three principles of school management and pursued development based on the original foundation. He dedicated himself to raising the quality of the teachers. He not only encouraged and supported professional training courses for teachers but also organized various kinds of seminars with teachers of the other schools for exchange of ideas among them. Teachers of Macau Pui Ching ‘went out of Macau’ on study tours to Hong Kong, to mainland China, to Taiwan, etc. to learn and acquire experience so as to broaden their horizons and thus achieve a higher standard of teaching. Regarding the students, based on the original stringent disciplinary order, Macau Pui Ching initiated the concept of the ‘second classroom’, devoting great efforts to launching extra-curricular activities, hence exploiting students’ various talents and potentials and boosting their all-rounded development. In 1987, the new wing of the new Academic Block C was constructed. In 1988, Block G was reconstructed. During the hundred years following the school’s establishment the Lou Kao Mansion was renovated to serve as the Administrative Building. In 1989, ‘Chi Cheng Building’ was constructed. In 1989, when Pui Ching was celebrating her centenary anniversary, Principal Hong was awarded a Medal of Merit in recognition of his great contribution to Macau’s education.
5. Continuing development:
Principal Hong retired in 1995 and was succeeded by Principal Lei Cheong Lap. Based on Pui Ching’s brilliance in the past century, Principal Lei was intent on upgrading the academic standard of the teachers and students. He supported teachers’ professional development and implemented the publication of the ‘Pui Ching Academic Journal’. In addition, to encourage cooperation between teachers and students, he launched various research-based courses. He also advocated the use of technological teaching aids and launched platforms of online learning of different subjects. At that time Macau Pui Ching was accepted as a member of the ‘World School Organization’ and a ‘member school of the Network of UNESCO’s Schools Associated with East China Normal University’ in recognition of her success in school management internationally. In 2003, Macau Pui Ching launched the Ten-Year Reform Plan of ‘developing quality education and enhancing the school campus environment’, targeted at the principle of ‘inheriting the past and keeping abreast with time’ with the short-term goal of decorating the roof-top and outer walls of Block E, the medium-term goal of reconstructing Academic Block B and the long-term goal of constructing Block H, the multifunctional academic building. The scheme of ‘Creating a pleasant campus environment’ was launched while Principal Lei was in office. Before he retired in 2007, the plan of ‘decorating the roof-top and outer walls of Block E’ and ‘reconstructing Academic Block B was already implemented, the latter being named ‘the Building in Commemoration of Pui Ching’s 115th Anniversary’ (inaugurated in 2006). The torch was then passed on to Principal Kou, his successor, who carried on the work of supervising the implementation of the multi-functional Academic Block H project. Today (2009) the multi-functional Academic Block H, ‘the Building in Commemoration of Pui Ching’s 120th Anniversary’ has been established and inaugurated, symbolizing the successful implementation of the Ten-Year Reform Plan, thus turning a new page in Pui Ching’s history.