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Andy Kwan

Taekwondo Black Belt Level Six, Poomsae and Kyorugi International Referee; also English teacher at a secondary school in Tinshuiwai, Hong Kong

My students generally don’t do so well in school. To them, learning English is particularly hard. Some of them don’t even think that they need to learn English.

As studying is not my students’ strong suit, I started to use Taekwando to inspire and instill confidence in them. Tsz Leung started training with me since Form 2, and is now a Form 6 student with a Black Belt. Chi Shing started learning last year, and is now a captain of the school team. He is very committed and dedicated. These are all examples of how Taekwando can build up confidence in youth.

Educating youth is a long process. We need a lot of time and patience to properly understand and nurture our young people. As a teacher, I want my students to be successful not only academically; more importantly, I want them to be confident and optimistic.

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We need to provide young people with varied opportunities. For those whose pursuits lie outside of the mainstream, their paths can be more difficult. Tsz Leung and Chi Shing were both lucky in having Andy as their mentor, who understood that confidence had to be built up from within. What Andy gave them was more than formal knowledge, but a valuable life skill. This should prompt us all to think about the objectives of education – is it to confer knowledge? To produce straight A students? Or is it to nurture young people with positive values and attitudes?

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