Report of mentorship programme 2006-2007
The mentorship programme 2006-07 for SGSS commenced at early September 2006 last year when it started with the recruitment of mentors and preparation of materials for the participants.
Application forms for mentees were distributed to both F.5 and F.7 students at early February. However, due to the reasons stated by the last report, the collection of application forms were delayed until middle of March and final mentor mentee allocation was eventually accomplished at late March.
For the current year, there are 29 mentors and 55 mentees (51 Secondary 7 and 4 Secondary 5). It is noted that there is a noticeable decrease of F.5 applicants joining the programme. It is believed that this was resulted by the weak understanding of the programme of the F.5 students. For the sake of improving such situation, more promotion to F.5 is encouraged next year.
Compare to F.5, the participating rate of F.7 is much higher. There are 51 out of 64 people joining the programme. According to their feedback, most of the F.7 students concern about the interview techniques and the career prospects of different programmes. So it is suggested that more emphasis should be put on this aspect (such as constructing a database of interview questions of different universities) next year.
There were two programme evaluations during the year. The first was on 28th April, 2007 and the second one was on 20th June. Feedback from group leaders, mentors and mentees were collected. In general, the feedback was positive. From the suggestions of the mentors, they suggested that both the mentees and they should write a brief summary about themselves so as to strengthen the understanding with each other. Besides, gatherings with both mentors and mentees within the group should also be organized for the same purpose stated above.
Personally speaking, I do believe that the span of control within the programme is too large that the communication is inefficient. Each group leader has to mange about 8 mentors and about 19 mentees. Such ratio makes the group leaders don’t possess sufficient time to see if the mentees got enough guidance. For improvements, it is suggested that we should sub-divided the programme applicants in to 6 groups instead of 4. Lastly, it is also reported that some mentors are hard to contact, they may eventually reply to the e-mail when after the mail was sent for 20 or more days. This communication problem should be taken for notice next year.
Alex Cheng Cheuk Wing from the mentorship programme.
Interim Report on SGSSAA Mentorship 2005-2006
(as at 26 Feb 2006)
1. Recruitment of Mentors
Started since summer. There are 45 mentors this year, about half of which are new ones, mainly fresh graduates from SGSS. The number of mentors is kept at a similar level of last year’s. Drawn from last year’s experience, we place our emphasis on the quality of mentors more than the quantity, ending up that a few mentors were not invited to continue their help. Other mentors who declined to further their service mostly because they have started their career and hence cannot spare the time.
2. Recruitment of Mentees
Alan Chu went back to school for recruitment in October, drawing an impressive result of 190 applications from F5 and F7, which was a double compared with that of last year. Thank you very much for his effective promotion!
Every mentor is allocated with 2 mentees in early December. Mentors are informed through email while mentees are distributed with handouts. Due to the flooding applications, we only managed to arrange a mentor for half of the mentees. We explained to all applicants about our shortage of human resources and the difficulty of matching them with the right mentor because of the shortage of mentors from the Arts stream. The rest of the mentees are provided with the email address of our mentorship department so that they could email me for enquiries and we will forward them to relevant help on a case-by-case basis. No email has been received by far.
4. Survey on the progress of mentor-mentee contacts
The 4 group leaders are still conducting it. Result expected to be known at March 3, 2006.
Problems encountered and resolution
1. Mismatch in the demand and supply of mentor
There has been difficulty in recruiting new mentors because the present ex-co members have already left SGSS for three or four years and the juniors they knew have already been promoted to tertiary education. Despite this, we have secured a handful of fresh graduates from SGSS and asked them to invite more helpers from their year. Although it seemed that we should have recruited more mentors, we had reservation in doing so because of the difficulty in recruitment, and more importantly, the lack of enthusiasm over half of the applicants shown in their application form. They are asked to answer 2 questions: Why would you like to join this program? Apart from help in studies, what kind of assistance do you need? Sad to say, almost half of the students left the answers blank. Other common replies include: I do not know/ because my friends join/ I am interested in it. Some students mentioned expectation of financial assistance or job opportunities. We did not wish to allocate our devoted mentors with indifferent mentees, hence tarnishing the reputation of AA.
The allocation process has also taken longer this year due to the deviation of needs. Apart from the lack of mentors from the Arts stream, the change of subject combination in each class due to the additional class is another major reason (There used to be 5 classes every year. Yet the problems of the F1 allocation system some years ago ended up in the sixth class this year in F5). Since the quantity of mentees and the kind of mentors they need vary every year and are out of our possible control, we could only apply appropriate remedy flexibly every year.
2. The fading-out of previous group leaders
Since the 4 group leaders last year (Charis, Charity, Cathy and Vicky) has joined or are soon to join the work field, special effort was paid to secure their successors. As the PIC of the mentorship department, Charis has provided guidance to the new leaders and paid special attention in familiarizing them with the work. Further advice had been and would be sought from other previous leaders when necessary. It is hoped that they would serve as new helpers or ex-co members for the good of the continuation of AA.
N.B. Suggestions for improvement are most welcome and highly appreciated.