Chief Executive Carrie Lam has said that the government is “highly disappointed” in a Tuen Mun school that allegedly kept so-called shadow students on its register. The students never showed up to classes and were apparently enrolled in an effort to maintain its level of government funding.

Hing Tak School remains under investigation after being accused of using falsified documents. More than 20 students on the class register between 2014-2016 never attended class. Last Thursday, police conducted a search of the school and took away evidence, including a large number of student attendance records.

Lam said that while the government entrusts school governance boards with the provision of quality education for students, it also has the responsibility to manage and uphold subsidised schools’ performance. She said that Secretary for Education Kevin Yeung had used his powers under the Education Ordinance to send eight representatives to meet with the school’s governing body to help begin the process of reform. A meeting will be held on Friday.

See more: Police search Tuen Mun school embroiled in ‘shadow students’ enrolment scandal

Hing Tak School
Hing Tak School. File Photo: Stand News.

Lam said her election manifesto had included a promise to provide Hong Kong students, teachers, principals, and parents with a “stable, caring, inspiring and satisfying” teaching and learning environment.

“Given its current situation, Hing Tak school does not meet my expectations, because the learning environment is not stable and teachers are extremely anxious – so we must deal with this situation immediately,” said Lam.

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Lam said she knew that many teachers were persisting in their responsibilities as educators despite the relative “chaos” of the governance situation, and that she was appreciative of their efforts.

See also: Education Bureau and police investigate Tuen Mun school for ‘enrolling shadow students’

Carrie Lam
Carrie Lam. File photo: GovHK.

Lam said that the government would endeavour to help the school resolve its situation in time for the beginning of the new academic year in September.

Jun Pang is an independent writer and researcher. She has previously worked in NGOs advocating for refugees' and migrants' rights in Asia and Europe.