There’s been a lot of chatter about the HKDSE top scorers and which schools they come from.
But today, we’re here to share the story of an inmate (and HKDSE candidate) that emerged from the confines of a prison in Hong Kong. Amidst the challenges, he rose above all odds to achieve the best-ever results in the Hong Kong Diploma of Secondary Education Examination (DSE) taken within the prison walls.
Meet Ming (not his real name), a 21-year-old inmate who defied expectations and societal labels. He set out on a quest to reach for the stars behind bars, proving that one's circumstances need not define their potential. Unlike most students, Ming was serving time for rioting, but that did not deter him from pursuing his educational aspirations.
Ming's journey to success was far from easy. He dedicated himself to studying diligently every day from 6:30 in the morning until lights-out time at 10 pm. His commitment, coupled with an unwavering positive mindset, culminated in an outstanding achievement: a top score of 29 points and 8 stars in the DSE exam, the highest ever attained by an inmate.
When interviewed, Ming expressed deep gratitude to his family for their support. He regretted the pain his actions had caused them and recognized that they had also suffered. His family's unwavering support was instrumental in fueling his drive to excel academically. Their belief in him instilled hope and nurtured the positive mindset that proved to be the driving force behind his success.
Positive psychology suggests that a growth mindset, characterized by the belief that abilities and intelligence can be developed through dedication and hard work, plays a significant role in personal growth and achievement. In contrast, a fixed mindset limits potential, assuming that intelligence and abilities are inherent traits that cannot be changed. Ming's journey exemplifies the power of embracing a growth mindset, for he transformed his life through perseverance and determination.
Ming's success also reflects positively on the Hong Kong Correctional Services Department, which has been actively supporting inmates' educational pursuits and witnessed the highest number of DSE papers set by inmates this year, with the highest passing rate in six years.
The importance of a positive education approach cannot be overstated in today’s society.
Positive education seeks to cultivate emotional intelligence, resilience, and growth mindset in students, empowering them to face challenges with optimism and strength. It equips young minds with the tools to thrive academically and socially while fostering well-being and mental health. The call to action is clear: schools and universities should embrace positive education to nurture well-rounded individuals capable of realizing their full potential.
Just as Ming's story shows us, each student carries untapped potential and can soar to new heights when nurtured with belief and support. Let us join hands in fostering an environment that encourages growth, learning, and resilience among our students.
The world needs more success stories like Ming's, reminding us that a positive mindset can break barriers and change lives, even behind the bars of a prison cell.
Contact Inspire2Aspire Consulting for Positive Education & Future Readiness Workshops: www.inspire2aspire.org/positive-education-workshops-training