Former pupils from a beleaguered international school have called upon Hong Kong’s Education Bureau to investigate the school’s administration.
Alumni from the Canadian International School of Hong Kong set up a petition over the weekend demanding a public apology from the school board. It also urged the International Baccalaureate Organisation and the Ontario Ministry of Education to investigate after nine staff members from the school were either dismissed or resigned from their posts.
The change.org petition was set up by the Student-Alumni Forum and has so far attracted more than 200 supporters.
A statement accompanying the petition said: “Our open letters, written by members of ten classes, elucidate our current concerns and future hopes for the school. Through them, we aim to demonstrate that students’ critical thinking and awareness should be valued as a conduit to further understanding.”
“Ultimately, we hope that our efforts will help CDNIS reach its full potential as an educational institution that prioritises the welfare of its stakeholders through the enhancement of both transparency and accountability,” the statement said.
Signatories – which included alumni and parents of students attending the school – left messages of support on the petition’s page.
Damon Hambly from the UK said: “I’m signing because I care deeply about CDNIS which has played a large part in my children’s education and lives the past eight years. The actions of the school’s current administration and board are destroying such an amazing institution. I wish to show my support for the Student-Alumni Forum, as this and other efforts will hopefully force the change which is needed to turn the school’s fortunes around.”
Linus Chan, an alumni now living in Texas, said: “I’ve attended CDNIS for 14 years and am a very proud graduate of this school. However, to see my kindergarten teacher, grade 3 teacher, grade, 8 teacher, and numerous high school teachers be treated this way is absolutely unacceptable.”
Sean Ahn, a current student at the school said: “I’m signing because things that [are] going on in our school has ruined my last day of school and makes me worried about what’s going to happen next year.”
The outcry comes amid allegations that the current head of the school Dr Gregg Maloberti tried to silence staff, and that two key staff members from the school’s primary section – the principal and the vice principal – were suspended and fired for criticising the school’s management. Dr Maloberti subsequently denied the allegations in an interview with the South China Morning Post.