A plan to relocate a school for students with behavioural problems from Lantau Island to Tuen Mun was passed by the Legislative Council’s panel for education on Monday.
The moves comes despite some objection from a mainstream Tuen Mun school. Last month, the principal of Yan Oi Tong Chan Wong Suk Fong Memorial Secondary School (YOTCWSF), Choi Kwok-kwong told the Education Bureau he didn’t want Tung Wan Mok Law Shui Wah School to move to Tuen Mun. He said the South Lantau school’s students were drug users and gangsters.
But on Monday, Yeung Yun-hung, the Under Secretary for Education, said students from this school should not be described using such generalised, extreme examples.
Although Choi later apologised for his description of the special needs students, he said didn’t want the school in his neighbourhood.
While YOTCWSF didn’t want support the move, the relocation plan was supported by a lot of people, including Michael Tien Puk-sun, deputy chairman of the New People’s Party, and Wong Kwok-hing, a member of the Federation of Trade Unions.
Tien said his party fully supported the plan, adding he “saw no reason not to”, after Kevin Yeung Yun-hung, undersecretary for education, pointed out that residents living near the other six such schools in the city had not been affected by their presence.
Wong said the public should support and care for the students.
Tung Wan Mok Law Shui Wah School, on South Lantau, has a very old campus, and has not been refurbished for more than 50 years.
Secretary for Education Eddie Ng Hak-kim said that the schools, known as schools for social development, were important for those facing learning and development difficulties to establish a normal life.
Ng added that the Education Bureau had been visiting Tuen Mun schools since May to explain the relocation.