60 secondary pupils left in limbo after suspension of Hong Kong school set to return to class after teachers sign new contracts
- Days of uncertainty for pupils and parents over as teachers sign new work contracts with Tsung Tsin Middle School
About 60 secondary pupils from a suspended international school who missed classes for a week will be able to resume lessons on Monday at the same site after eight teachers signed employment contracts with another group.
That came after days of uncertainty for pupils and parents following an Education Bureau order a week ago to shut down Tsung Tsin Think Academy in Cheung Sha Wan for operating illegally.
Think International Schools Group had rented the Kwong Lee Road site in Cheung Sha Wan from Tsung Tsin Middle School in September 2015. But it failed to officially register the name Tsung Tsin Think Academy, leading the bureau to order the school to vacate the premises.
About 170 primary school pupils transferred to Think International School, a sister school in Prince Edward, and started classes on Thursday.
But the secondary pupils were left in limbo after their initial hopes of continuing classes at Tsung Tsin Middle School using their old curriculum were dashed on Thursday.
Tsung Tsin Middle School principal Tung Fuk said more than half of the academy’s 11 former teachers did not sign contracts with his school.
But on Friday, education sector lawmaker Ip Kin-yuen announced he witnessed eight former teachers signing employment contracts with the school.
“Pupils who were originally from Tsung Tsin Think Academy’s secondary section can return to the Cheung Sha Wan campus on Monday for classes,” he said.
Ip noted the teachers and curriculum would remain the same for the pupils.
A bureau spokeswoman on Friday said it also understood that many affected teachers signed employment contracts with Tsung Tsin Middle School, adding it had enough places to accommodate the pupils.
At the same time, the bureau was conducting a full investigation into the incident and would deal with it according to the established procedures, she said.
The spokeswoman also said 18 parents had contacted the bureau for support in finding school places.
“My son and I are very happy that he can go back to school and follow the same teacher,” said William Kong Wai-yan, the father of a Year Nine pupil.
He added that he was not worried about his son missing a week of lessons as there were still seven to eight months left in the school year.
But the mother of a Year Three boy, who wished to known by just her surname Cheng, expressed concerns about overcrowded classrooms at the Prince Edward primary school campus, adding there were complaints about pupils not getting enough physical activity.
Cheng, spokeswoman for a parents’ group of the school, urged the bureau to help find a new campus for the primary pupils.
But the bureau spokeswoman said the Prince Edward school had enough places to accommodate all pupils, adding it had been operating smoothly for the past two days.