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HomeTech推動平等教育機會 助孩子構建璀璨未來

推動平等教育機會 助孩子構建璀璨未來

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香港生活繁榮,港人自小享有十二年免費教育。香港學生對讀書習以為常,然而放眼世界,學習的機會並非理所當然。在地球的另一端,不少發展中國家的小孩自幼需要工作,上學對他們來說儼如奢侈品 。

萬世師表孔子曾言︰「有教無類」,提倡不論出身,凡生而為人都應該擁有接受教育的機會。愛必思教育科技集團有限公司行政總裁蘇志康Alexander So體現出這句話的真諦,他所創辦的愛必思致力發展成一家線上教育資源中心,「我們相信教育並非特權,而是一種權利。通過互聯網,我們希望能有機會為有需要的兒童提供優良的教學資源,並讓他們可以瞭解自己,繼而發揮所長。」

斐濟義工經驗 點亮創業前路

初生之犢不畏虎,Alexander年數不過二十就已經開設公司,可謂年少有為。快人一步,歸根於早已確立的志向。「2015年,我有幸到斐濟參加義工活動,為當地貧困兒童興建學校,並且教授英文和數學。」當年的經歷晃動了Alexander的心靈,他意識到原來幸福非必然,並不是所有小孩都能享有教育的機會。「經過反思和沉澱後,我決定以推廣普及教育為我的職業志向,幫助世界各地資源貧乏的家庭,讓父母可以和子女一同探索知識,進行職涯規劃,追尋屬於他們的人生。」

愛必思業務範圍現時已擴展至25個國家,包括以色列﹑烏拉圭﹑西班牙和土耳其等地。機構團隊由插畫師、教師、心理學家和大學生所組成。「我們的團隊成員來自不同專業背景,他們為了宏大的願景,放棄了高薪厚職。我深信憑著專業知識和熱誠,我們可以發展成為一家可持續發展的機構,為教育平等作出貢獻。」

一站式線上教育資源中心 讓夢想飛翔

跨代貧窮問題根深柢固,Alexander指出許多低收入家庭的孩子缺乏教育資源,而他們的家長由於大多教育水平偏低,因而亦無法在家中指導孩子學習,導致孩子普遍向上流動性較低。歸根究底,知識仍是解咒的關鍵。愛必思透過提供全面而且價錢相宜的教學資源,助學生建立堅實的學術基礎。

愛必思擁有多種教育產品,包括電子書籍、線上補充練習、入學考試訓練和線上導師服務等等。電子書是其中一種熱賣產品,Alexander向我們展示其中一本書籍︰「《牛油果小姐》以通俗易明的方法向孩子介紹牛油果,包括她的出產地和好處。書中包涵多張精美插圖,並且中英並茂,深受孩子歡迎。」

Resume Page︰事業起步點

教育或許是擺脫貧困的跳板,亮麗的學歷亦能助求職者找到一份理想的工作,可惜不少畢業生由於缺乏經驗,以致求職時經常碰壁。「部份畢業生求職前的準備工作不足,有些則欠缺軟技能,導致他們與心儀工作失之交臀。」

有鑑及此,愛必思近年在服務上更進一步,創立求職服務平台Resume Page。平台主要提供三種服務︰協作履歷表﹑深入調研申請職位的要求,以及為求職者進行面試準備。「與坊間其他公司不一樣,我們不但收費相宜,而且整個服務按步就班,讓畢業生逐步建立信心。」Alexander補充道︰「我們對超過26個行業,300多家公司進行過深入的調研,豐富的資源庫確保我們可以解答到畢業生的疑問。」

把握疫市機遇 發揮教育科技優勢

疫情爆發至今已逾兩年,逼使大眾由傳統實體授課形式轉至線上授課,線上教學成為新常態,為相關行業帶來新機遇。「體驗過線上教學的好處後,不少人開始反思傳統教育形式是否僵化,並且探索更多另類教育模式,教育科技因而嶄露頭角。」相關行業著手提高科育科技和教育方法的水平,愛必思受惠於此,果斷抓緊了疫情下的商機,危中取機︰「教育科技逐漸受人重視,我們不但能輕易地進行市場調查,而且能更準備了解到客戶痛點。投資者和大眾媒體亦日益肯定業界的努力。」

面對大好潮流,愛必思不甘後人,乘流而上。愛必思現時目標是是設計一套完善的神經網絡演算法,Alexander指構思靈感源自現代醫療︰「現代醫學中的個人化醫療就是按照患者的DNA而訂製合適的藥品,由此推演,我們認為教育方案也可以客製化。」互聯網資訊碎片化,學生要從中挑出合適的資源,不但困難,而且低效。然而,Alexander表示透過不同測評,測試者可以了解到的自己的能力,繼而訂立出合適的教育方案。「我們將會推出一個能力評估系統,當中包括SHL Practice﹑Saville Test和能力傾向測試等等,甚至僱主和專業人士也能對學生或僱員進行評估。通過這個系統,我們相信能發掘出學生和求職者的所有潛能。」

愛必思教育科技集團有限公司行政總裁蘇志康Alexander So

Advocate Equal Education Opportunities. Help Children Build A Bright Future — An Interview With Alexander So, CEO Of ABC EdTech Group Limited

Life in Hong Kong is so prosperous that Hong Kong children enjoy 12 years of free education. Hong Kong students are accustomed to school life, so they may not know how precious the opportunity is. On the other side of the world, many children in developing countries have worked since childhood, whereas a school life is a luxury for them.

Confucius, the ancient Chinese philosopher, once said: “In teaching, there should be no distinction of classes.” He advocated that no matter one’s background, everyone should have the opportunity to receive education. Alexander So, CEO of ABC EdTech Group Limited, reflects the true meaning of this saying. The ABC EdTech Group that he founded is committed to developing into an online education resource centre. “At ABC, we believe that education is a right instead of a privilege, and we believe that through the use of the internet, we will be able to reach children in areas that were not previously as accessible. Our mission is to give children, students and graduates access to the best resources available, allowing them to understand themselves and make full use of their talents.”

Volunteer Experience In Fiji Lights Up The Way Forward For Entrepreneurship

Alexander set up a company when he was only seventeen years old. His aspiration was established in his youth. “In 2015, I had the privilege to travel to Fiji as a volunteer to help build schools and teach English and Math to underprivileged children.” This experience shook Alexander’s heart. He realized that happiness is not inevitable, and not all children can enjoy educational opportunities. “By seeing what life was like outside my own walls, and further introspection into my own upbringing, I decided to forge a career path for myself that focused on increasing the accessibility of education and career-related information so that parents and children can co-explore academic and professional career options that best serve them.”

ABC’s business scope has now expanded to 25 countries, including Israel, Uruguay, Spain and Turkey. The team consists of illustrators, teachers, psychologists and university students. “Our team members come from diverse professional backgrounds who have given up high-paying jobs for the sake of a grand vision. I am convinced that with our expertise and passion, we can develop into a sustainable institution that contributes to educational equality.”

One-Stop Online Education Resource Centre Lets Dreams Fly

Intergenerational poverty is a deeply rooted social issue on a global scale. Alexander pointed out that many children from low-income families lack educational resources, and since their parents had no formal education they cannot guide their children to study at home, resulting in low upward mobility of children. Undoubtedly, knowledge is the key to solving the problem. ABC helps students build a solid academic foundation by providing comprehensive and affordable teaching resources.

ABC has a variety of educational products, including offering books, homework worksheets, exam prep, psychometric testing, online mentorship, and online resume creation. E-books are one of their bestsellers, and Alexander shows us one of them: ” ‘Miss Avocado’ introduces children to the fruit in an easy-to-understand way, including where it comes from and its benefits. The book is in Chinese and English. It also contains beautiful illustrations. Children like it a lot.”

Resume Page: Get Started With Your Career

While education is a stepping stone on the social ladder, a good degree can undoubtedly help job seekers find an ideal job. Unfortunately, many graduates often come up against brick walls when applying for jobs due to their lack of experience. “Many students lacked the research and soft skills to prepare for and successfully land careers of their choice. Many students are ill-prepared for job applications and do not have access to quality resources that guide them through the process at their tertiary institution and online.”

In view of this, ABC has extended its service in recent years to create Resume Page, a careers service website which provides three main services: resume building; research on jobs, companies, and industries; and job interview preparation.

“Unlike competitors, Resume Page is priced significantly lower and guides students every step of the way, from conducting research, to creating a resume and cover letter, to finally, attending interviews and passing them.” Alexander added: “Our extensive research on industries, companies, and job roles (26 industries and 300+ companies) ensure students can explore what careers interest them most and envision how they would fit in.”

Seize The Opportunity Play Strength Of Education Technology

It has been more than two years since the outbreak of the epidemic, forcing the public to switch from face-to-face teaching to online teaching. Online teaching has become the new normal, bringing new opportunities for related industries. “The majority are waking up to the inflexibility of current education systems and are exploring alternative education methods. Hence, educational technology is getting attention now.” The increased awareness of EdTech has led to many technological and pedagogical advancements. Benefiting from this, ABC decisively seized the business opportunities under the epidemic: “Education technology is gradually becoming more and more important, we can be able to conduct market research better, identify customer strongholds, and garner significantly more investment and media traction.”

With the general trend, ABC seizes the opportunity. ABC’s future goal is to design a neural network algorithm. Alexander pointed out that the inspiration for the idea came from modern medicine: “Like personalized medicine, where treatments are created based on the patient’s DNA, according to this train of thought, we believe that the educational program can also be customized.” Internet information is fragmented, and it is difficult and inefficient for students to find suitable resources. However, Alexander said that through psychometric, multimodal, and competency data, people can learn about their abilities, and then develop an appropriate educational program. “We will launch an ability assessment system, including SHL Practice, Saville Test and Aptitude Test, etc. Employers and professionals can also assess students or employees through this system. We believe that we can draw out the full potential of students and job seekers.”

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