Donald Tsang

Hunger strike puts spotlight on acclaimed school

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 07 February, 2012, 12:00am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 07 February, 2012, 12:00am


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The former assistant principal of a well-known high school has gone on hunger strike, claiming it is not living up to its reputation.

Paul Yip Kam-haw, who left Wah Yan College in 2010, camped outside the school in Wan Chai yesterday to begin his protest.

The Catholic school has educated key government officials over the years, including Chief Executive Donald Tsang Yam-kuen and Chief Secretary Stephen Lam Sui-lung.

One of his banners declared that Wah Yan's university entry rate was more than 60 per cent lower than other similarly ranked schools.

He said that figure had been revealed at a board meeting he attended while still employed at the school - but Wah Yan had not released the information to the public.

Yip, 43, said the school was being dishonest by not disclosing its performance statistics.

'I understand that it's unrealistic to ask for total transparency, but the school shouldn't tell lies.'

He also questioned why the school was not willing to continue an English drills project that he had come up with that had shown promising results.

'I cannot allow anybody to take advantage of current [and future] Wah Yan students,' another banner read.

Yip plans a 21-day hunger strike, surviving on just water.

A few pupils gathered to support him outside the school.

He is not only a former staff member but also a former student.

'I'm really dissatisfied with the current situation, it's far from ideal,' he said. 'And the true problem lies in the school's values.'

In a statement posted on its website, Wah Yan said: 'The school's authorities are deeply concerned about this action.

'During Mr Yip's hunger strike, the school's authorities will keep an eye on the situation and provide assistance if appropriate. It is hoped Mr Yip will be mindful of his health.'