19 Jun, 2023
15 : 52
(Shanghai, 13 June 2023) On June 13, the Yew Chung Yew Wah Education Network successfully concluded two ceremonies: the Yew Chung Yew Wah 90th Anniversary Mural Unveiling Ceremony and the Inauguration Ceremony of the temporary campus of Yew Chung International School of Shanghai Lingang (YCIS Shanghai Lingang).
The Yew Chung Yew Wah 90th Anniversary Mural Unveiling Ceremony, themed "Together, WE create the Bright Future", took place in the morning at Yew Wah International Education School of Shanghai Lingang (YWIES Shanghai Lingang). Dr Betty Chan, CEO and School Supervisor of Yew Chung Yew Wah Education Network (YCYW), Dr Xuejun Xu, Deputy Chief Executive Officer & Chief Business Development Officer, Dr Esther Chan, Deputy Chief Executive Officer (K-12 Education), and other institutional leaders, attended the opening ceremony.
The Yew Chung Yew Wah Artists-in-Residence initiated the “WE” mural project, which involved students from all YCYW campuses. The project aimed to gather students' memories of campus life, reflect on the inheritance of Yew Chung Yew Wah's people-centric philosophy developed during the past 90 years, and collectively tell the YCYW story. The project lasted for nearly ten months and collected approximately 10,000 7cm x 7cm square paper cards, on which the students had drawn memories of their campus experiences. The artists-in-residence sorted and assembled these cards to create a large mural, which they installed in the library of YWIES Shanghai Lingang.
In her remarks, Dr Betty Chan highlighted the significance of Shanghai in the growth and development of YCYW, marking YCYW’s first footprint on the Chinese mainland.
She said, “In 2013, a mural named ‘WE’, symbolising the collective journey and shared experiences of everyone involved over the years was created in celebration of YCYW's 80th anniversary and is now on display at YCIS Hong Kong. A decade later, another mural also named ‘WE’ was created for our 90th anniversary milestone, unveiling here at YWIES Shanghai Lingang.”
Dr Chan also extended her best wishes to the YCYW community, “May this mural inspire all to act, to contribute their unique voices, and to shape a future driven by compassion, creativity, and unity. Let it be a symbol of the legacy we leave behind, and a reminder of the limitless potential that lies within each and every one of us.”
On behalf of YWIES Shanghai Lingang School Leadership Team, Mr Steven Zou, School Business Manager, Mr Clayton Mullins, the Western Co-principal, and Ms Linda Li, the Chinese Co-principal, expressed their deep appreciation for the honour of receiving the 90th Anniversary Mural, coinciding with the School’s ninth anniversary. According to the school leadership, the mural embodies the core value of relationship inspired by Madam Tsang Chor-hang, which will withstand the test of time.
The mural was unveiled in the presence of the artists-in-residence, including Ms Haruka Ostley, Ms Elena Hasnas, and Mr Gabe Ostley, who were the main driving forces behind the project.. The mural represents not only their efforts; it is also a symbol of all the dedicated YCYW educators. Both Ms Hasnas and Mr Ostley were amazed by the collaborative spirit within the YCYW community. Ms Hasnas remarked, "With each project we undertake, we not only gain new insights, but also inspire our community members, who in turn inspire us."
After the mural unveiling, the inauguration ceremony for YCIS Shanghai Lingang took place at the YCIS Shanghai Lingang temporary campus, located just across the street. Officials from Lingang Special Area Administration, including Deputy Director Mr Ting Miao joined the ceremony.
Established in 1993, YCIS Shanghai was the first YCIS School in the Chinese mainland. It also proudly stands as the inaugural international school that was officially registered and accredited by the Chinese Government. The school is dedicated to delivering exceptional international education to expatriate families in Shanghai.
In 2022, Lingang Special Area Administration invited YCYW to establish YCIS Shanghai Lingang for expatriate children in the area. This initiative aligns with the rapid growth of high-tech industries and fulfils the need for high-quality educational resource in the area. YCYW embraced this opportunity, recognising the importance of providing education for this evolving community.
Dr Chan was delighted to see the opening of YCIS Shanghai Lingang as it marked YCYW’s dual presence in the area, offering train education to both expatriates and local students.
“This momentous occasion sets another important milestone in our history and signifies the role we have played in contributing to the development of the Lingang Special Area,” she said. “Lingang Special Area has been identified as an important hub for innovation and collaboration. We believe that learning does not happen in isolation and it’s important to connect the learning from the curriculum to the real-world. Therefore, YCIS Shanghai Lingang will work closely with institutes and businesses in this region to create a powerful synergy.”
Mr Ting Miao congratulated the school on its completion, commending YCIS as an educational institution that embodies profound patriotism, and a strong sense of mission and responsibility.
"As the first international school in Shanghai, YCIS Shanghai has always been at the forefront of promoting the development of international education in the City. Throughout the course of developing international education, the School has actively advocated the essence of traditional Chinese culture and values, truly practicing the great vision of promoting national progress through comprehensive education," said Mr Miao.
"By 2035, the resident population of Lingang is expected to reach 2.5 million, with foreigners accounting for more than 10%. The demand for high-quality, diversified and personalised education in this new area will only increase. Lingang Special Area Administration continuously welcomes and supports YCYW, strengthening cooperation with the area to establish high-quality international schools with a global reach."
Mr Damien Hehir, Western Co-Principal, and Ms Mary Yu, the Chinese Co-Principal of YCIS Shanghai Lingang expressed their gratitude to their colleagues, Lingang Special Area Administration and the local community for their support throughout the preparation of the school. They concluded their speeches with a poem by Li Bai, "With wings like the great Peng to soar aloft, and ride the whirlwind up to heaven's height", conveying their best wishes for the future success and prosperity of the school.
YCIS Shanghai Lingang is expected to begin operations in the autumn of 2023, initially enrolling children between the ages of two and eight. A comprehensive 15-year educational programme will follow. Consistent with all YCIS schools, YCIS Shanghai Lingang aspires to foster globally minded, empathetic, and service-oriented leaders dedicated to creating a better world. Adhering to the same East-meets-West educational philosophy of other YCIS campuses, the school implements a dual leadership and teaching model, featuring dual education directors, dual principals, and dual teachers. This unique approach enables students to grow within an international cultural environment, fostering bilingualism, genuine respect and understanding of diverse cultures worldwide, while instilling a determination to tackle the challenges of the era.
YCIS Shanghai Lingang features modern and innovative facilities, including flexible learning spaces that align with YCYW's concept of a bilingual learning community. Within these spaces, students can collaborate and learn together, and thus have enriching educational opportunities. Students can also use campus facilities such as the auditorium, sports field, gymnasium, and swimming pool, which will also be available to the Yew Wah students at the school across the road.
During the ceremony, the YCIS Shanghai Lingang community, including students, teachers, and staff members expressed their hopes with a heartfelt performance of "A Million Dreams". To commemorate the occasion, ten students presented artworks capturing their ingenuous thoughts, while Dr Chan penned her aspirations for the future on a card. These valuable mementos were then carefully placed in a time capsule, preserving a one-of-a-kind memory of this special day.
About Yew Chung Yew Wah Education Network (YCYW)
YCYW is a global education pioneer with roots in Hong Kong, China. It seeks to combine the best of Chinese and Western cultures to create a truly distinctive spectrum of educational provision. Its mission is to nurture compassionate global citizens for the building of a better world.
Madam Tsang Chor-hang was a visionary and education pioneer who founded the first Yew Chung School and Kindergarten in Hong Kong in 1932. In 1970, her daughter Dr Betty Chan Po-king joined Yew Chung to assist in its management. As a dedicated researcher in early childhood education, Dr Chan put forth an innovative concept of ‘learning through play’. In 1985, Yew Chung organised the ‘Pillars of Tomorrow’, an Early Childhood Education Exhibition in Beijing, which was officiated by Ms Kang Keqing, the then Chairlady of the Beijing Soong Ching Ling Foundation. In 1989, Yew Chung collaborated with UNICEF to organise the world's first academic forum on early childhood education, promoting exchanges between early childhood education communities in the Chinese mainland, Hong Kong and around the world.
In the 1990s, Yew Chung was invited to Shanghai and Beijing to run schools for expatriates in the mainland. Following in her mother's footsteps, Dr Betty Chan Po-king and her husband, Professor Paul Yip Kwok-wah, later founded the Yew Chung Yew Wah Education Network, nurturing Chinese and expatriate students to contribute to the international stage.
As YCYW celebrates its 90th anniversary milestone in 2022, its educational pedigree encompasses the entire spectrum from early childhood to tertiary education including Yew Chung International Schools, Yew Chung College of Early Childhood Education, Yew Wah International Education Schools, Yew Wah International Education Kindergartens and Yew Wah Infant and Toddler Discovery Centres in cities covering Hong Kong, Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou, Chongqing, Qingdao, Yantai, Tongxiang, Silicon Valley, USA and Somerset, UK. Each year, YCYW provides quality education and development opportunities for more than 13,000 teachers and students around the world.
Yew Chung Yew Wah 90th Anniversary Mural Unveiling Ceremony
The Yew Chung Yew Wah 90th Anniversary Mural is installed in the library of YWIES Shanghai Lingang
Dr Betty Chan Po-king, CEO and School Supervisor of Yew Chung Yew Wah Education Network, unveiled the Mural together with artist-in-residence Ms Haruka Ostley and two YWIES Shanghai Lingang students.
Dr Betty Chan Po-king, CEO and School Supervisor of Yew Chung Yew Wah Education Network delivered her opening speech.
Mr Ting Miao, Deputy Director of Lingang Special Area Administration, extended his congratulations on the inauguration of YCIS Shanghai Lingang temporary campus
Ribbon-cutting ceremony for the inauguration of YCIS Shanghai Lingang
Choral performance by YCIS Shanghai Lingang students, teachers, and staff members.
To commemorate the occasion, Dr Chan penned her aspirations for the future on a card. Together with ingenuous student artworks, these valuable mementos were carefully placed in a time capsule, preserving a one-of-a-kind memory of this special day.