Speech - Address by Mr Bob Tan, Chairman/ITE, at the Opening Ceremony of the VTC-ITE International Student Seminar 2019, 17 Jun 2019, at 10 am, Hong Kong Design Institute, Hong Kong

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  • Publish date:17 Jun 2019

Dr Roy Chung
Chairman, Vocational Training Council (VTC)

Professor Eric Yim
Deputy Chairman, VTC

Board Members of VTC

Management, Staff and Students of VTC

and Representatives from Shenzhen and United Kingdom

Dai Ka Hor (‘Hello, everyone’ in Cantonese, 大家好)!

1              On behalf of my fellow Board colleague, Andrew Chong; Khah Gek, CEO of ITE; and so many staff and students of ITE; let me say a big “Thank You” to VTC!

2              You have put on a tremendous performance by starting off with the two tunes by Henry Shek1 and the Orchestra - 'Home' and 'Friendship'2. 'Home' - Our ITE friends, colleagues and students will know, relates very much to Singapore. It is sung very often during National Day and most days when we try to give an uplift to Singaporeans. But I must also say, when we are here, Hong Kong is like home! So when you play ‘Home’, we feel very much at home, both here, as well as we do in Singapore. ‘Friendship’ – I think it’s  a great theme for the Orchestra to play, because this is what it’s all about.

1 Dr Henry Shek is VTC Symphony Orchestra’s Artistic Director and Conductor.
2 Actual name of the tune is ‘Friends for Life’, also known in Spanish as Amigos Para Siempre.

3              We come here, all the way from Singapore, 350 strong – 300 students, 50 staff – and we won’t do it unless we have already established, over the last 12 years, a strong bondage between the two organisations. We started in 2007, initiated by both the then Chairman Andrew Leung, and I, with the hope that it might get somewhere. It was a humongous initiative because when you send 300 students from one country to the next, with 50 staff or so, it is not just a matter of bringing people here, but the receiving organisation has got to worry about all the logistics that go with it and all the planning that goes with it. To that, Simon, the Organising Chairman and all your millions of people (it feels like that!) helping you to make this happen, it is tremendous. Thank you very much!

4              I know in the process, there are other distractions in Hong Kong itself and you have to re-direct and change some of the programmes. It is very much appreciated.

5              ITE students and staff who are here, please make use of this opportunity. Not only to sample some of the delights of Hong Kong, in terms of food and sights, but also get to know your fellow counterparts, build friendships. You can’t build friendships only through the digital platform, without meeting each other. You have the   opportunity  to   meet   and   to   follow   up,   and   build great friendships for years to come.

6              I went to a number of the booths outside and asked the students there “What is the learning?” Yes, I can see the projects, but what is the “real” learning? They said, “Teamwork and never give up”. This is the opportunity to extend your teamwork beyond Singapore to Hong Kong. This is the opportunity to learn from each other what “never give up” means. So take full advantage of it. Don’t just cluster among your friends from Singapore. Spread out, enjoy time with your friends in Hong Kong. You have plenty of time to spend with your colleagues and friends in Singapore.

7              We have extended the stay. It used to be three days, now it has been extended to four days. It is to give you ample free time to network and socialise. Take full advantage of it. How many of you from Singapore have never been to Hong Kong? Please put up your hands. So you can see, quite a number of you have not. I hope this will not be the last time that you come to Hong Kong. In two years’ time, we will receive 300 students from Hong Kong and maybe 40-50 staff from Hong Kong as well. I hope our guys are all prepared to receive them all, but for now, let’s enjoy Hong Kong’s hospitality, VTC’s hospitality. They are great friends of ITE. I wish you all a great seminar ahead.

8              Before I conclude, let me also thank the Seminar’s Speakers, Mr Lam, Mr Chow and Mr Lee (who comes from Singapore as well), for sharing with our students, some of the new innovations in this topical area. Thank you, all.