How did it start

I am Vivian Looi, a freshman at Johns Hopkins University. I was fortunate enough to take part in the GCI Youth Summit 2018 last summer, organized by Global Citizen Initiative, a non-profit social enterprise based in Connecticut, United States. It kicked off with a nine-day residential program hosted at the Harvard University campus, during which the 28 qualified Fellows from 11 different countries research on a social issue drawing on academic discussions and inspirational speakers, with the aim of outlining an approach to tackle it “glocally”: thinking globally but acting locally. After grasping more of the creative thinking and leadership skills taught in the workshops, I came up with the idea of EdQuity.
The Organization for Economic Co-Operation and Development (OECD) defines two dimensions of equity in education:
1. Fairness, which means ensuring that personal and social circumstances do not prevent students from achieving their academic potential.
2. Inclusion, which means setting a basic minimum standard for education that is shared by all students regardless of background, personal characteristics, or location.
MENTORSHIP PROGRAM

As a transfer student from a public to a Direct Subsidy Scheme (DSS) secondary school, I have been stirred by the difference in access to opportunities and resources between the two types of schools. This unfair playing field prevented students in public schools from reaching their full potential, hence undermined education equity in Hong Kong. The Mentorship Program of EdQuity aims to provide extra support to those who of a greater need, such that more students in Hong Kong can get the support they need to be successful.

DISCUSSION-BASED LEARNING SESSIONS

Although every child in Hong Kong has the right to education, not all of them enjoy learning as much as students in other countries do. The spoon-feeding and over-drilling culture of the Hong Kong education system kills students' passion for learning- it caused depression in over 50% of all Hong Kong students and led to more than 140 student suicidal cases from 2015 to 2019. On a global scale, many Hong Kong students are not able to experience the joy of acquiring knowledge as much as students in other countries do, which undermines educational equity globally.

I am glad to have experienced the Harkness method during Summit, during which I have learned a lot through the back-and-forth questioning with the other 13 intelligent fellows. I am aspired to bring this intriguing learning method to Hong Kong students, who are used to passively listening to lectures to learn at schools. I believe that they will, too, be astonished by this mode of active learning by exploring social issues that they are genuinely interested in. I hope Hong Kong students will no longer find learning burdensome, but rather, a joyful and meaningful thing to do as they cultivate thirsts for knowledge during discussions with like-minded peers.