ESF - English Schools Foundation

Pupils to protest at Government House over pollution

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 04 June, 2006, 12:00am
UPDATED : Sunday, 04 June, 2006, 12:00am

A group of 150 ESF pupils will stage a protest outside Government House tomorrow afternoon to urge speedier action to clean up Hong Kong's polluted air.

They will hand deliver up to 2,500 letters addressed personally to Chief Executive Donald Tsang Yam-kuen written by students from 11 English Schools Foundation schools, and other schools, along with three signature petitions from students and parents.

Student protesters will wear masks and brandish long black newspaper tubes made of recycled paper to convey their message.

The schools' anti-pollution campaign tomorrow will begin with an interview on RTHK Radio Three's Hong Kong Today programme during which organisers and students will talk about the letters.

They will also discuss the first ESF environmental conference which was held last Thursday on Lantau to encourage environmentally friendly measures at schools.

Those attending tomorrow's protest will include students, parents and teachers from West Island School, Beacon Hill School, Kowloon Junior School, Kennedy School, Hong Kong International School and Phoenix School.

Letters were also collected from King George V School, Hong Kong International School Middle School, Canadian School, Clearwater Bay School, Glenealy School and ESF International Kindergarten.

Organiser Heather Quinn, a teacher at Beacon Hill School, said they had been unable so far to contact other private and public schools to participate, but added that the letter-writing campaign was on-going and welcomed schools to join in.

'It's a big pile of letters we have got here and it would take several students to carry this,' she said, adding that she was particularly impressed by a batch of letters written by kindergarten pupils which carried simple messages like 'Dear Mr Tsang, we don't like the rubbish in the water', and 'We love Hong Kong but we don't like the dirty air'.

'A lot of our kids feel it because at age four you are not very big, and you are very much at the level where the car exhaust pipes are coming out and all the exhausts go up their little noses,' Mrs Quinn added.

This will be the second batch of environmental letters sent to the chief executive from the students. Around 600 letters from students at Beacon Hill School were submitted to officials last month.