With our campus’ abundance of society bazaars this week, Education Society is setting out to do their part in making a difference.
Lunchtime on Run Run Shaw Podium this week saw not only the usual queue in front of Subway but a colourful line-up of bazaars with a dizzying array of merchandise for sale. American Society. Japanese Society. Biology Society. German Society.
Admittedly, most of the stalls look the same. To fundraise for their society’s future events and famed Registration Day and Orientation Series, the society’s bazaars display stacks of quirky accessories, handmade jewellery, laptop cases – the only distinguishing thing on sale being their mandatory bespoke society T-shirts.
Amongst the overwhelming lineup of bits and bobs that will be looked at, perhaps bought and then most likely forgotten, one unassuming stall stands out. Its table does not have piles of attractive merchandise. In its place, there are post it notes, two die, some lollipops and a blackboard announcing “Academic Festival: Exhibition & Interactive Corner”. Running the stall is Education Society’s Chairperson Oscar and its Academic Secretary Kevin.
The Exhibition and Interactive Corner forms part of the program for Education Society’s annual Academic Festival running this week. “Our stall has two objectives.” Kevin explains. “To raise awareness of education issues in the Hong Kong community and provide a platform for students to comment and reflect on the issues raised.”
Through infographic posters and short interactive games, the society is aiming to address and raise awareness on campus for four key issues in the education system in Hong Kong – the controversy debate of the use of Putonghua as a teaching medium, the saga of university governance, the instability of teaching contracts and the lack of support for children with special needs.
“I myself am dyslexic and I found that when I was in school there was not enough support for me.” Oscar shares with The Lion Post. “With a ratio of one teacher to around 40 students, the teachers simply didn’t have the capacity to support student with learning difficulties.”
The “corner” also hosts a board for post-its as a platform for student’s comments, encouraging students to reflect upon and join the conversation. Through engaging passers by to consider wider issues than whether to buy a flashy new laptop case, this meaningful initiative serves a breath of fresh air amongst the hoard of merchandise-mongering bazaars.
On top of the Academic Festival, Education Society holds social service initiatives twice a year for not only intellectually disabled students but also those who are underprivileged. These “Sports and Service Fun Days” encourage their members to gain exposure to the real issues facing the education system.