Finance lesson from a school under threat
(SCMP/ July 3, 2010)
Parents watched integrated education in action at a Sheung Wan school open day yesterday.
San Wui Commercial Society School has mounted a HK$3.7 million fund-raising drive to operate a privately funded Primary One class.
The school faced the threat of closure after the Education Bureau ruled it could not operate a publicly funded Primary One class from September because it would not have the required minimum 16 students.
But it is now nearly halfway to its target after mobilising charities, campaigners and well-wishers to raise funds in a drive jointly organised with the White Rose Family Foundation.
About 30 people attended the open day at which parents observed a Primary One English class led by native English-speaking teacher Neil Appleby, in which children with special needs learned alongside other children.
Visitors viewed a promotional video about San Wui that explained its approach to small-class teaching and integrated education, watched a drama performance by older students and were given an outline of the school’s plans for the future.
Principal Ambrose Lui Kam-keung said the Central and Western district branch of the Lions Club had pledged to fund lunches and textbooks for every student, and the San Wui Commercial Society would pay for an extra school bus to transport students from Sham Shui Po.
“It has been very encouraging to see the level of support we have had from private companies, charities, and non-governmental organisations,” he said.
“It shows the recognition that our school has won among the community.”
Sheila Li Shuang, of The Peak, founder of the AUism Charitable Foundation, said: “I have decided to devote all my charitable fund-raising efforts to this school. I am quite confident that the school will achieve the HK$3.7 million target by September.”
San Wui’s application to operate a privately funded Primary One class from September was approved by the Education Bureau last month.