Save IMS Tin Hau School from closure. 拯救蒙特梭利國際學校天后分校，不要學校停辦。
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The International Montessori School (IMS) Tin Hau campus lease will expire in July 2014. Despite continued efforts, the school has not been able to secure a lease renewal. With just a few months to go and a grave shortage of international school places in Hong Kong, the education and livelihood of the 350 young students of IMS Tin Hau are in serious jeopardy.
We represent the children, parents and staff of IMS, as well as all Hong Kong parents seeking diversity and choice of education for their children, the entrepreneurs and corporations looking for international school places for their executives’ families, and non-Chinese Hong Kong children who need an alternative to learn Chinese as a second language.
We call on the Hong Kong SAR Government and the Secretary for Education to follow-up on the promises (1) that have been repeatedly made to the Hong Kong and IMS community, and immediately step in to help IMS secure a renewal of the lease to the Government site it currently occupies in Tin Hau. The children must be allowed to continue their schooling without disruption until a long-term solution is found.
Background of IMS Tin Hau Lease:
The Hong Kong Government is ultimately responsible as IMS Tin Hau is located on government land that has been earmarked for education purposes. A third party was given a long term lease on the Tin Hau site to run a school, which was not successful and has since been closed. In 2010, the Government invited IMS to move into the Tin Hau site, and has repeatedly promised the school community that IMS could safely remain on the site until a long-term solution is found(1). To even consider allowing a third party to kick out and force the closure of a quality school and thriving school community is not only unreasonable, but detrimental to the reputation and competitiveness of Hong Kong as a world city.
IMS School Background:
IMS is a successful homegrown non-profit school founded in 2002, which plays a critical and strategic role in Hong Kong’s education landscape. As the only accredited bi-lingual Montessori Primary School in Hong Kong, IMS provides choice and diversity of education to the community. Over 2,500 Hong Kong children from 17 Montessori kindergartens have a chance to continue with a quality Montessori education in IMS’ Primary Program. Without the Tin Hau school campus, and with no other viable school facility, the IMS Tin Hau school community will have no choice but to disband, while thousands of parents seeking places for quality Montessori education for their children will be disappointed.
Demand for Montessori education is strong. In 2013, IMS was awarded a new campus in Stanley to provide 700 new school places in a separate catchment area, to help alleviate the current shortage of Primary School places in HongKong. In awarding the Stanley site, the Government specifically required IMS to create new school places, and not relocate the IMS Tin Hau Campus to Stanley, as it would not result in the creation of the required new school places.
(1) 31st October 2012, Eddie Ng Hak-Kim, press release of Legislative Council proceedings: “As regards the International Montessori School (IMS), it is operating at the premises of a closed down school located on private land owned by the Hong Kong Construction Association (HKCA). A few months ago, a non-governmental organization (NGO) indicated interest in utilizing this site for the purpose of youth hostel development. Recently, the Home Affairs Bureau has clearly informed the NGO that insofar the subject site will continue to be deployed as a school, it will not support any NGO in developing youth hostel at the site.
(LegCo Hansard Official Record of Proceedings: http://www.legco.gov.hk/yr12-13/english/counmtg/hansard/cm1031-translate-e.pdf)
5th November 2012, Eddie Ng Hak-Kim, press release of transcript of media session remarks: “We have no intention to change, to suggest or to support the change of the purpose of that particular piece of land (IMS Tin Hau). That means, I understand that the NGO (HKFYG) and the Institute (HKCA) also realise this situation. Therefore, based on my understanding, I actually do not see the threat of that particular lease for that particular school.”
教育局局長吳克儉於2012年11月5日會見傳媒談話時說(以下為翻譯)：「我們無意改變，也没建議或支持改變該地 (蒙特梭利國際學校天后分校所在地) 的土地用途。即是說，我了解該非政府組織 (即香港青年協會) 及機構 (即香港建造商會) 亦明白這情況。因此根據我的理解，我實在看不到該學校會受到有關租約威脅。
Today: Save IMS Tin Hau School Concern Group 拯救蒙特梭利國際學校(IMS)天后分校關注組 is counting on you
Save IMS Tin Hau School Concern Group 拯救蒙特梭利國際學校(IMS)天后分校關注組 needs your help with “Mr. Eddie NG Hak-Kim, Secretary for Education, The Hong Kong SAR Government 香港特別行政區政府教育局局長吳克儉先生: Save IMS Tin Hau School from closure. 拯救蒙特梭利國際學校天后分校，不要學校停辦。”. Join Save IMS Tin Hau School Concern Group 拯救蒙特梭利國際學校(IMS)天后分校關注組 and 4,404 supporters today.