Tutorial schools

Want to earn a cool HK$85 million? Hong Kong tutorial school tries to poach top teacher from rival institution

PUBLISHED : Friday, 09 October, 2015, 12:59pm
UPDATED : Friday, 09 October, 2015, 1:07pm

A tutorial school in Hong Kong is attempting to poach a star teacher from another top institution in the city by publishing an open invitation in Chinese-language newspapers, promising the teacher an annual salary package of HK$85 million.

Modern Education yesterday published a full-page advertisement in two Chinese-language newspapers, titled “An Open Letter to Teacher Lam Yat-yan”.

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In the letter, Modern Education promised Lam an annual income of HK$85 million if he joins Modern Education after his contract with Beacon College ends next year.

The letter also stated that Modern Education would offer Lam a four-year contract that would allow him to take 65 per cent of the school’s profits if his classes attracted more than 20,000 students a year.

The institution also offered Lam HK$1 million each year to subsidise his advertising and promotion costs, in addition to giving him HK$30 million to show its sincerity.

Modern Education ended the letter by saying: “We sincerely hope you will accept our invitation. If you have any questions, just contact us directly”.

Beacon College has plans to go public on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange.

But Lam seemed unswayed by the highly lucrative offer. Responding on Facebook yesterday, Lam said: “I’m still the same person … For long, my school and I have maintained a good partnership, working hard together to build an ideal education platform. So, I am willing to stay in a working environment that is fair and reasonable and shares the same mission as mine.

“I believe I have the ability to make a living for myself and my family. An extra HK$50 million, HK$80 million makes no difference to me.”

An extra HK$50 million, HK$80 million makes no difference to me
Teacher Lam Yat-yan

His response drew support from Facebook users, who said they were “proud” of Lam.

According to information published on Beacon College’s webpage, Lam teaches Chinese in the tutorial school. He graduated with first-class honours from the department of Chinese language and literature at Chinese University. He has many student fans, who have opened a special Facebook page dedicated to him.

In Hong Kong, it is common for students in secondary schools to attend classes operated by private tutorial centres to prepare for rigorous Diploma of Secondary Education (DSE) exams. Each year, parents spend thousands of dollars to sign their children up for tutorial classes in the hope of gaining an edge in the DSE exams.

Many students choose to take tutorial classes in Chinese language because they feel the subject is difficult.

The tutorial trade is worth millions of dollars in Hong Kong and advertisements for star teachers and tutorial schools can be found everywhere.