17 February 2019
The trend is growing for schools to send pupils on study trips. Photo: HKEJ
The trend is growing for schools to send pupils on study trips. Photo: HKEJ

Vegas and bust: School attacked for pricey US study trip

A government-assisted primary school has come under fire for organizing a pricey overseas study trip to the United States, including a stop in the gambling heartland of Las Vegas, Apple Daily reported Thursday.

Hing Tak School in Tuen Mun is charging HK$16,780 (US$2,165) per person for the seven-day US west coast tour, which it says will help widen the students’ horizons and let them practise their English.

The school is also offering a five-day trips to Singapore for HK$8,170 per person. Both trips will need at least 20 people to sign up and each student must be accompanied by at least one parent, according to the school.

The US trip will take in Los Angeles, Las Vegas, the Grand Canyon, Universal Studios and Disneyland in California. There are no school visits but three shopping sessions have been scheduled.

Some of the parents criticized the school for organizing study tours that are simply beyond their means. Even if each student qualifies for HK$3,000 subsidy from the government’s Caring Community Fund –- a fund set up in 2011 to help people falling through the economic cracks — the US tour would still cost at least HK$30,000 for each family.

Mervyn Cheung, chairman of the Hong Kong Education Policy Concern Organisation, said it is unnecessary to travel as far as the US and it is shocking that Las Vegas is on the itinerary.

It is also a contradiction for students to apply to the community fund for a luxury tour, Cheung added.

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