Pupils do the carrying for Lunar New Year fair

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 14 January, 2012, 12:00am
UPDATED : Saturday, 14 January, 2012, 12:00am


Rising prices have meant some extra fetching and carrying work for pupils at Cheung Chuk Shan College.

The school is setting up a stall in Victoria Park for the Lunar New Year fair for the fifth year in a row.

But instead of hiring a company to bring their supply of soft toys and inflatable goodies over the border from the mainland, the pupils did it themselves.

And on Monday, 70 Form Five pupils will haul the bags from their hilltop school in Tin Hau to Victoria Park. Business teacher Szeto Suet-ping said the cost of supplies and services had risen by about 30 per cent. 'We used to pay for a moving company, but it is too expensive now,' Szeto said. 'We also didn't pay for a company to bring our supplies down from the mainland this year.

'Every pupil had to take two trips together to Guangzhou equipped with two big bags and one backpack.'

But the experience seems to have been a valuable one for the pupils.

Pupil Gary Yu Hau-tang said: 'I didn't realise that how we pack and label our supplies was so important ... we don't have time to dig through boxes to replenish our stall. It was a very complicated task.' The team has also received advice from pupils who have run the stall in previous years.

'The older pupils have taught us how to make display cases out of used boxes to help us cut costs and also be environmentally friendly,' Yu said. 'They also taught us to wrap the cases with colourful wrapping paper to draw people's attention.'

Fellow pupil Natalie Chan Lai-yee said she expected dealing with customers would be one of the big challenges for the stallholders.

'We will have to face customers of different ages and economic backgrounds, and we will learn how to sell to different types of people through quickly assessing what kind of person they are. We would not usually encounter so many different types of people at once.'

Szeto said she had urged her pupils to learn the prices of the dozens of products they would be selling as a way to deal with some mean-spirited customers.

'In the past, some pupils have told customers the wrong prices, and were then accused of lying,' she said. 'So now, we urge the pupils to memorise the prices.'

The main product will be a neck pillow with a cartoon dragon designed by the pupils.

The pupils must earn at least HK$110,000 to cover costs - but they will be able to split any profits they make.