Kowloon Tong Gen Tak Yuen Kindergarten announced on the 22nd that it would be closed after three years due to the wave of immigration, the decline in the birth rate and the wave of retirement of teaching staff. Founded in October 1966, it has a history of 10 years, when there were 57 students, but now it has become the "cradle of famous schools". Although the number of students increased to about 7 in 1967, the year after its founding, the June Seven riots in the same year, and the wave of immigration, the founder was still determined to keep running the school, and after decades of hard work, it has become a god-level kindergarten, which has produced about 50,3 students so far.
Kowloon Tong Gande Garden Kindergarten (Photo by Law Kwok-fai)
On the first day of school in October 1966, there were only seven students
According to the Gentokuen Kindergarten website, the school was founded in October 1966 and had only 10 students on the first day of school. The school was founded and served as its principal by Ms. Wong, who was born in Hong Kong and immigrated to Shanghai with her family in the late 7s before moving back to Hong Kong.
According to the school website, Ms. Wong knew the value of education because of her experience in Shanghai during the war, and her mother always reminded her daughter: "Education is in your hands, no one else can get it", so after returning to Hong Kong from studying at UCLA in the United States, she noticed that the number of kindergartens in Hong Kong was small and widely distributed in the 1960s.
The name Gentokuen is derived from "deep roots" and "both ability and integrity"
The school website pointed out that Ms. Wong and her family lived in a large house in Kowloon Tong District, which was very spacious and had a large garden outside, so she set up a kindergarten on the spot, which is the origin of Gende Yuen Kindergarten. According to Ms. Wong, roots and virtue are "deep roots" and "both ability and integrity".
When the school opened in 1966, 7 students only needed to attend 3 hours a day, 10 months a school year, and the monthly tuition fee was 45 yuan; By the second academic year, 1967, the number of students had grown to about 50, when severe social unrest broke out in Hong Kong and many families chose to emigrate to foreign countries, but Ms Wong was determined to overcome the difficulties and continue running the school.
Superintendent and founder Ms Wong (left) and her daughter, current principal Ms Leung (right). (Gentokuen Kindergarten School Website)
By 1979, the second school building on Doch Street was officially opened, which was twice the size of the old school building; In 1999, Ms Wong stepped down as Principal to become Superintendent of Schools, which was held by her daughter, and when the number of students has increased to 1,800, she has secured a place in Hong Kong's private kindergarten sector.
In the following decades, the school has been ranked among the best in kindergartens, is a god-level kindergarten in the eyes of parents, and many students go on to prestigious primary schools, which is also regarded as the "cradle of famous schools". In the 2023 Top 50 Most Competitive Kindergartens in Hong Kong by Hong Kong Professional Education Press, the school ranked third in Hong Kong.
Looking through past reports, the current principal of the traditional prestigious Ba Cui Boys' College, Cheng Ki-on, revealed in an interview that he is a student of Gende Yuen Kindergarten and has been studying at Dioche Boys' College, and has been the principal of Dioche Boys' College since 2012.
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