Kuk wants more say on schools with its name

PUBLISHED : Monday, 25 January, 1999, 12:00am
UPDATED : Monday, 25 January, 1999, 12:00am

Rural patriarchs from the Heung Yee Kuk are demanding more say in managing schools named after it, apparently fed up with playing only the role of donors.

The kuk will write to Director of Education Fanny Law Fan Chiu-fun asking for a review of its role on the schools' managing committees.

Three secondary schools carry the name of Heung Yee Kuk: HYK Tai Po Secondary School, HYK Yuen Long Secondary School and HYK Southern District Secondary School.

The schools were set up in the name of the kuk, which looks after indigenous New Territories residents' interests, after it donated $600,000 to the Government about 30 years ago.

Though in the name of the kuk, they are government schools and their staff are civil servants. The kuk is allowed to send representatives to join the schools' boards.

But kuk member Dr Pang Hok-tuen said members were unhappy about their function. Their discontent was fuelled recently after a row with the schools.

Dr Pang said the kuk had invited students to perform at a function in the New Territories but the schools said their students were too busy.

'They, of course, can object. I am not angry at their rejection but at the way they handled the case,' Dr Pang said.

'Headmasters of the Yuen Long and the Southern District schools have explained to us their difficulty and it's fine, but not the Tai Po school. During the school's board meeting the school even claimed it had not received our invitation.' Dr Pang, who is also a member of the Tai Po school's board and a Provisional Regional Councillor, demanded better communication between the kuk and schools.

He urged a review of the role of kuk members in schools.

'Many members are not interested in the school board meetings because they are usually no big deal,' he said.

'We are only briefed about student activities and financial situations and asked to donate to help the school functions. We are not consulted in important school policies.' 'We hope to have more say and really do something for the schools. We will write to the Director of Education to demand a review and revision of our role in schools.' The board of a school is supposed to be the most senior ruling body. Members are usually celebrities, professionals and other representatives from the school sponsoring organisation.