‘Dual track’ school teaches wide-ranging knowledge, in-depth study

Raymond Tam, principal of G.T. (Ellen Yeung) College, shares insights about how a “dual track” school operates. (PHOTO PROVIDED TO CHINA DAILY)

G.T. (Ellen Yeung) College took the initiative in 2018 to introduce an alternative for senior-form students and parents. 

Other than the Hong Kong Diploma of Secondary Education curriculum, the school, upholding the principle of nurturing students in multiple disciplines, began to offer the IB Diploma Program to students, becoming one of the 10 secondary schools in Hong Kong to provide the foreign curriculum. 

The IBDP stresses the dynamic cycles of inquiry, action and reflection, with three core emphases — creativity, activity, 

service; extended essay; and theory of knowledge.  

In the 2020-21 IBDP exam, 25 percent of Hong Kong students with full scores were from G.T. College. 

“The HKDSE has been recognized as a well-known local university entrance examination, while IB, a comprehensive education program taught in more than 150 countries, has been recognized by the world’s leading universities,” said Raymond Tam, the principal of G.T. College. 

Assistant Principal Leo Tsui said, “Many local secondary schools are enriching their curricula, from implementing a single curriculum to a ‘dual track’ curriculum, to cope with students’ needs in pursuing higher education. 

“It is noteworthy that the imminent challenges for Hong Kong schools which provide only a single curriculum lie in preparing their students to enter overseas universities.”

Asked about the benefits for students aiming to study in Hong Kong or abroad from the dual-track system, Tsui said that the IB course structure is beneficial for students who are willing to sharpen their research skills. 

Other than handling the public examination, they also get chances to expose themselves to develop an international mindset and cultural understanding, which is advantageous for report-writing, one of the core elements of IBDP external assessment, he said.

Unlike IBDP, the HKDSE does not emphasize multiple assessments, but relies heavily on the public examination. In short, the HKDSE allows students to develop a wider range of knowledge, while the IB allows students to focus on an in-depth understanding of specific subjects, he said.