In memory of Dr. Hinton

We are deeply saddened by the loss of Dr. Arthur Hinton, the founding Chairman of our Association. He passed away peacefully on 23 November, 2017.

Dr. Hinton was loved by all of us and he will be cherished in our hearts. Our deepest condolences go to his family and our sincere sympathy to the schools he served. May he rest in peace!


Meeting with our founding Chairman, 29 November 2014 –

Dr. Arthur Hinton talks about All-round Education


            Better than a thousand days of diligent study is one day with a great teacher. This Japanese proverb embodies the true essence of our meeting with the renowned founder of HKAHSS, Dr. Arthur Hinton on 29 November 2014. Dr. Arthur Hinton is a living legend. Even at the ripe of ninety five, this nonagenarian and former QESHK Principal continues to wear many hats: as a historian, a humanitarian and foremost as an educator; inspiring people he meets wherever he travels. Hearing his words of wisdom and learning about his other pioneering works in person, we deem the meeting was an exceptional privilege. 

            Dr. Hinton’s pioneering work on an all-round education of students and his great contributions to Hong Kong’s education sector in its tethering years is hard to emulate. Many a times during the meeting, his passion and commitment to nurture curiosity for learning among his students as an educator gleamed through his thoughts as he spoke about developing education in schools in the old days. He emphasized the role of Principals in developing a school environment that fosters education of the whole child as they are at the helm. This notion of all-round education is spoken more often, he cautioned, but neglected in practice even in the 21st century. Dr. Hinton elucidated that on the one hand giving subject specific knowledge for academic success forms a part of any student’s learning curve. On the other hand, developing ideas of cooperation, kindness and taking initiative are the core values that help students grow into principled life-long learners. Thus, Principals should take upon themselves the responsibility of providing opportunities in school for developing people and for developing cooperation. He opined to epitomize what we teach as Principals and to constantly urge our staff to exemplify these virtues so students could help each other at school and help others outside the school.

            Always a proponent of building progressive and compassionate school campus atmosphere, Dr. Hinton spoke about insistence on raising awareness of civic mindedness and ethical qualities among students in parallel to academic studies. On the issue of the ‘Umbrella Movement’, Dr. Hinton acknowledged that Principals sometimes were put in a difficult position in their endeavour to support their students. He talked about the remarkable events where students went on protesting despite regular classes. While being a supporter of the protest, he reminded that students need to be aware of civic and moral duties towards the country as a whole and to adopt a more balanced approach through communal dialogues and discussions. He advised that situations like these need to be thoughtfully considered through experience, historical understanding and evaluation of their impact on the society as a whole.          

            Reiterating his stance on advocating civility among young citizens, Dr. Hinton   cited the history of democracy in Britain. Dr. Hinton gave personal examples as he talked about how it was only in his grandfather’s time that all men in England got to vote and that he was in primary school when women in England were allowed to vote. He voiced his concerns that instant democracy may compound the idea of freedom because Hong Kong already enjoys freedom at many levels. Adding further in his response to the way ahead in the current political scenario, he said Principals and educators should seek and evaluate views from multiple perspectives in the community but importantly be willing to grow from the experience so they can instill the same among students.            

            After being asked whether he was still proud of setting up HKAHSS in the first place, Dr. Hinton gave us a humble reply that he was not ‘proud’ but ‘glad’ HKAHSS had lasted fifty years and become much stronger. He urged the need for our association to keep going forward while comparing HKAHSS to another international educational council, which he was instrumental in establishing. He shared that even though their organization was able to garner support from the teaching community and played an active role in disseminating seminars, it only lasted 15 years and then died out.

            As the first Chairman of HKAHSS, Dr. Hinton’s practical advice for us was to continue working hard in striving to improve education, keeping in mind the developments in government policies and the education system. Within such a short time, Dr. Hinton’s words of wisdom and his passion for education had left everyone with profound admiration for this great founder.