Lingnan Education Organisation must reconsider planned relocation of schools

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 02 November, 2011, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 02 November, 2011, 12:00am


My little girl is a pupil of Lingnan Kindergarten and Day Nursery. The sponsoring body of the schools, Lingnan Education Organisation Limited (LEO), has ignored parents' repeated requests for a dialogue relating to the burning relocation issue.

Instead, it has chosen to publish advertisements and letters in the press. In its latest letter ('Department sent mixed messages on school's structural safety problems', October 28), David Chan, chairman of LEO, which has threatened to close down the schools if the relocation project could not be completed by the end of January 2012, said nothing new.

In order to paint a true and balanced picture, there are a number of points he should have mentioned. Despite LEO's supposed safety concern about the school premises first indicated in July, schools have continued to operate at the current premises for months without any precautionary measures being taken. A report compiled by qualified people commissioned by LEO about the structural safety of the school buildings has been obtained but LEO refuses to disclose it to parents.

Contrary to its description of the newly secured school premises at Siu Sai Wan as 'suitable', they are too small to accommodate all the existing pupils of the kindergarten and day nursery. On October 19, questionnaires were sent to parents of K3 (kindergarten) pupils to see whether they agreed to change to afternoon classes to make the Siu Sai Wan premises more suitable.

In any event, the alleged structural issue arising from an unauthorised basement has absolutely nothing to do with the adjacent stand-alone building of the primary school. Even though the lots are now being zoned for government, institution or community uses, applications can always be made to the Town Planning Board for rezoning by their registered owners.

Parents once thought that, given their long history and good reputation, the schools were run by a responsible school sponsoring body. Still impressed by all the loving and caring teaching staff at the allegedly dangerous sites, we refuse to give up these schools. The message from the Education Bureau is not mixed, as LEO claims; it is unequivocal.

It is embarrassing that the bureau finds it necessary to remind LEO that it has an obligation to place the well-being of the pupils first. Nevertheless, we hope the reminder works - it is not too late to reconsider.

K. S. K. Yee, Central