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South China Morning Post: Soft skills build solid kids

Nov 26 2012

Children require more than just academic development, so schools such as JEMS help youngsters build their confidence and character, writes Linda Yeung.

When three-year-old James Hu pulled up a chair for his pre-school teacher to sit on as his class gathered for “circle time”, he received immediate praise for what was, on the surface, just a small good deed. The thoughtful act, however, was exactly the kind that his mother, Christina Hu, hoped he would start performing when she signed him up for weekly lessons at Junior Excellent Members of Society (JEMS) Learning House, a specialist in character education.

When the teacher told the story to her afterwards, Hu was touched by her son’s actions. “The teacher found it amazing that James was willing to take the initiative to help teachers out,” she says.

For the past four years, JEMS has been trying to instill positive values among children aged three to 12, teaching concepts such as personal responsibility, time management, perseverance and gratitude. It has seen growing support among parents who are increasingly aware of how important soft skills are to their children.