A former secondary school principal who gave up a lucrative job to help the disadvantaged and financially underprivileged children through free classes has vowed to persist with his work despite coming under financial strain.
Chan Hung, 48, commonly known as Principal Chan, is determined to continue his tutorials services even though his wife’s death has put him and his three children under great stress, the Hong Kong Economic Journal reported.
Chan was the founding principal of a Direct Subsidy Scheme (DSS) secondary school before he decided to quit in September 2009, giving up a job that gave him a monthly salary of HK$100,000 (US$12,875).
The reason for quitting the job was because Chan felt that underprivileged children were not being paid enough attention under Hong Kong’s education system and that something needs to be done to help them.
With full support from his wife, he established the “Principal Chan Free Tutorial World”, which offers free one-to-one or small group tutoring service to teenagers who are experiencing financial and learning difficulties, in 2011 and has devoted himself to providing volunteer education services since.
As a non-profit organization certified by the government, Principal Chan Free Tutorial World has been a success with three centers now in the city after years of efforts.
The number of its volunteer instructors has grown to more than 8,000 and over 10,000 students have benefited from the service.
But the death of Chan’s wife last week has sparked concerns if the Good Samaritan will be able to continue his work.
Chan’s wife died of breast cancer on Saturday, leaving the family in financial distress as their three children, aged between 13 and 16, will no longer get tuition subsidy from the government for the wife’s job as a civil servant.
Chan told HKEJ that his income over the past few years was mainly from writing columns, attending workshops and giving speeches, all of which have been suspended since his wife’s cancer relapsed four months ago.
Expecting heavy financial burden from his children’s international school education, Chan said he will do all he can to take care of them and continue his tutorial service at the same time.
However, help has come as staff and volunteer instructors at the Principal Chan Free Tutorial World became aware of the difficulties faced by Chan and decided to raise funds to enable him to continue his children’s education.
On a Facebook page, they called on kind-hearted people in the city to make donations to Chan’s personal bank account so that his children’s school work will not be disrupted, Ming Pao Daily reported.
The call drew positive response from netizens, some of whom said Chan deserves help because his philanthropy has helped many people in society.
Chan was quoted by Sky Post as saying that he appreciated the donors’ kindness and that it is truly a great consolation for him at a moment like this.
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