Date
17 October 2018
Despite its disappointment with the government's decision, Wah Yan College vows to continue providing quality, well-rounded education in Hong Kong. Photo: Wah Yan College
Despite its disappointment with the government's decision, Wah Yan College vows to continue providing quality, well-rounded education in Hong Kong. Photo: Wah Yan College

Wah Yan College not as lucky as Xiaomi

Not everyone is as lucky as Xiaomi Corp., which got the nod of Hong Kong regulators to list under its dual-class share structure.

Spare a thought for the brothers of Wah Yan College Hong Kong, which had sought to join the government’s direct subsidy scheme to cope with the growing challenges of providing quality secondary education after operating for almost a century in the territory.

Its application, however, was turned down by the Education Bureau, despite having the support of its board and alumni. Apparently, the government is afraid that other local schools might follow if it approved Wah Yan’s proposition.

Under the DSS, the Jesuit-run school had hoped to charge tuition while being fully subsidized by the government, and at the same time enjoying the freedom of management of a private educational institution.

It had planned to charge an annual school fee of HK$20,000, which would still be affordable for middle and lower-income families in the Wan Chai district where it is located.

But while the Chinese smartphone maker has been lucky in getting the regulator’s green light, despite its unorthodox share structure, such is not the case with Wah Yan.

Fr. Stephen Chow Sau-yan, the school’s supervisor, did not hide his disappointment with the government’s decision, but said the institution would continue abiding by the Jesuits’ education principles and seek various ways to enhance the quality of its service.

He said that with God’s guidance, the school will continue to be blessed.

Wah Yan is one of the most famous boy schools in Hong Kong and the only one with campuses both on Hong Kong Island and in Kowloon.

Wah Yan may not have produced as many top students in the Diploma for Secondary Education exams as its rival Queen’s College has, but it takes pride in the balanced, all-round education that it offers, instead of just focusing on academic pursuits.

Xiaomi rebounded after a disappointing IPO and trading debut. There is no reason why Wah Yan cannot recover from its disappointment and keep up its good work.

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CG

EJ Insight writer

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