SCMP, Augst 7, 2001 By Sherry Lee Leung Chi-kwong's highly publicised million-dollar appeal has fallen flat. One month ago, the unemployed 59-year-old sought a donation which would allow his 10-year-old daughter, Dearing, to, as he put it, 'escape' Hong Kong's 'prison-like' education system. The money didn't exactly flood into the Leung home; the main responses were crank phone calls and the concerns of education and medical experts. Mr Leung won't be put off, however. He insists he will continue to teach Dearing himself, even though he has a Secondary Two-level education. He is encouraged by the notion that about one million children are home-schooled in the United States, according to US Department of Education research. While around 20 expatriate children are schooled at home, the department has only identified two local cases. In Hong Kong, home teaching is illegal. All children aged between six and 15 have to go to school. In late 1997, when Dearing was in Primary One, her father pulled her out of a local school. He alleges a teacher hit her head and shouted in her ear. Last February, two years after he put Dearing into Sham Shui Natives' Association School, Mr Leung pulled her out again. He claims she was bullied and couldn't perform well because of what he calls 'the school's teaching methods'. He says schools are places where people become enemies, students fight and teachers beat up students. Educators plead for 10-year-old's right to learn SCMP, March 2, 2002 By Gary Cheung Educators say 59-year-old Mr Leung, who is unemployed and only completed Form Two, is not qualified to teach Dearing. Paul Lee Kit-kong, chairman of the Primary Education Research Association, said the department had not been firm enough in its demands that Dearing go back to school. 'He is sacrificing his daughter's interests by denying her the right of schooling,' said Mr Lee, also principal of Kei Hin Primary School in Ngau Tau Kok, adding that it would be wrong to see Dearing as a test case for home-schooling in Hong Kong. In an interview with Education Post this week, Mr Leung was defiant that he would not accept the tutoring offer. 'The lion's share has been eaten by education officials and teachers who receive lucrative salaries,' he said. But Billy Wong Wai-yuk, executive secretary for the Hong Kong Committee for Children's Rights, said Dearing's personal development would be jeopardised if his father kept her from school. 'School life is indispensable for nurturing a child's communication and interpersonal skills,' she said. She called for firm action to be taken to ensure Dearing received her right to education. Education constituency legislator Cheung Man-kwong said he doubted whether Mr Leung could offer proper education to Dearing. 'The department should start to ponder seriously whether it should issue an attendance order,' he said. Glossary fall flat (idiom) to fail miserably when attempting to achieve something Example: The plots fall flat due to an absence of wit. crank (n used as an adj) a prank or joke Example: It must be a crank letter. I won't pay attention to it. put off (phrasal v) to be repelled or repulsed by something Example: We were put off by his indifferent attitude. home-school (v) to teach a child outside school, usually at home Example: She has been home-schooled ever since she was expelled from school. expatriate (adj) living in a foreign country Example: He delighted in the versatility expressed by the expatriate actors. pull someone out (phrasal v) to stop someone doing or being involved in something Example: The manager pulled her out of the race as he tried to finalise a deal with a new sports club. demand (n) urgent request Example: The policeman's demands that the protesters disperse were ignored. sacrifice (v) to give one thing up for something else which is considered more valuable Example: The interests of foreign domestic helpers can be sacrificed in the name of creating more jobs for locals, said SCMP columnist Albert Cheng King-hon. test case (n) some type of legal action, the outcome of which will likely set a precedent Example: An American journalist was acquitted of publishing a false story in a media law test case. lion's share (n) the largest or most desirable part of something Example: The popular American tennis player would have the lion's share of support for his third-round match. Discussion points ? Would you advise Mr Leung to let Dearing study at a school? Why? ? If Dearing came to study in your class, what would you say to her and Mr Leung?