Hong Kong's Canadian school needs a clean slate

PUBLISHED : Friday, 17 April, 2015, 5:51pm
UPDATED : Friday, 17 April, 2015, 5:51pm

I am writing this letter for a friend of mine.

Over the past 25 years, he has taught in many schools on different continents. The Canadian International School of Hong Kong was the best, most progressive and professional school he had worked in. Globally, teachers, administrators, and parents lined up to try to enter the school due to its incredible worldwide reputation for educational excellence.

This excellence was due to the group of founding members who opened the school in 1991 and the recently departed administrators who laid down a strong academic standard.

Unfortunately, over the last two years, the remaining founding members and the directors they have appointed have lost their way. These founding members need to immediately and permanently relinquish all ties with the school while they still enjoy respect for the great job they have done in the past. The members of the board of directors, with all their intelligence and wisdom, should also realise the mess the school is in and must share some blame for what has happened. They will also gain a tremendous amount of respect and "face" by resigning.

It is going to take years for the school's reputation to recover from the damage done over the last few months. No top A-list teacher or administrator is going to apply for the school as it is now managed and the pupils will suffer greatly.

On relinquishing their involvement with the school, board members should ask the Canadian consul general to step in and appoint an impartial temporary board to govern the school. This board must consist of business people, administrators, teachers, parents, Asians and non-Asians. It needs to have the power to hire highly professional administrators.

The school principal, Dr Gregg Maloberti, should step down, as his appointment was not transparent. His handling of current matters has not helped the present turmoil. The temporary board should conduct a search for a principal and Dr Maloberti should be allowed to apply.

My friend could not sign this letter as it would lead to his instant dismissal with loss of income, bonus and benefits. This dismissal has already happened, with no explanation, to two of the most professional and much-loved principals of the primary school.

David Talbot, Vancouver Island, Canada