Doubts about ESF pledge on community engagement
The English Schools Foundation (ESF) recently said that it wanted to embrace the local community in Hong Kong. I assumed that it would be open to visits from local schools for language enhancement purposes.
Last year, I made a request to an ESF secondary school. Although I was never asked to submit a specific plan formally, I was told that our request would be considered in due course.
Unfortunately, the trip has been refused – as it was seen as having no specific purpose and that our students would be merely “tourists” visiting for the purpose of taking “photos”.
Refusing a trip is one thing. Taking a dim view of local students as opportunistic “tourists” is another thing entirely.
Paul Benn, Tai Po