Only half of suspended Hong Kong international school’s secondary pupils return as classes resume
- Tsung Tsin Think Academy was shut down by Education Bureau earlier this month over improper registration
- About 60 secondary school pupils were left in limbo until it was confirmed that they could continue at same site under Tsung Tsin Middle School
Only half of about 60 secondary pupils who were affected when their international school in Hong Kong was shut down showed up when classes resumed on Monday morning.
Tsung Tsin Think Academy, which is under the Think International Schools Group, was renting a space in Cheung Sha Wan from Tsung Tsin Middle School since September 2015, but was forced to close by the Education Bureau earlier this month due to its failure to properly register the school’s name.
The shutdown left about 60 secondary school pupils at the academy in limbo until last Friday, when it was confirmed that they would be able to continue classes at the same site after some of their teachers signed new contracts with the middle school. About 170 primary school pupils were also affected, but they were transferred to another of the group’s four campuses.
On Monday, Tsung Tsin Middle School principal Tung Fuk said that only about 30 of the affected pupils had attended class that morning, without confirming how many of them had pulled out.
Grade 10 pupil Jeremy Tan said he would have to adapt to some new teachers and new classmates. He added that he was thinking about changing schools and had started looking for new options.
A parent of a Grade 8 pupil, who asked to be identified by his surname, Liu, pulled his son out of the school that morning, saying it was because of a “loss of trust”.
“I was surprised by the incident and felt disappointed because it has affected my son’s studies,” Liu said. “I’m considering changing schools for my son for fear of the instability of the teachers and students, which will affect the teaching in the future.”
He added he was expecting to have difficulty finding a new school.
Another parent, a British woman who did not provide her name, called the Educational Bureau’s sudden suspension of the academy “outrageous”.
“I’m in a WhatsApp group, and I have seen the panic among parents. They want the school to find another site. How do you find another school site in Hong Kong?” she asked.
She said her family had moved to the city to seek a better education for her child.
“If it wasn’t for this school, I wouldn’t have come to Hong Kong in the first place.”
Grade 7 pupil Diara Ghanshani, who was leaving after class at about 1.40pm, said only four of her 17 classmates were present that morning.
She added that everything was the same as before except for the school name. Her class had done some catching up and fun activities.
Think principal Lily Choy Lai-yu appeared at Tsung Tsin Middle School on Monday morning but would say only that “everything has been explained”.