Kut O public school (“Kut O” being another English rendering for Kat O), was founded in 1931. It allowed children on the far-flung island to receive an education from qualified teachers. Before its founding, the local children were given free lessons in classical Chinese by a villager in the wings of Tin Hau temple.

Taking over teaching responsibilities, the public school operated from the same rooms for 20 years, teaching mostly male students.

Photo: Tom Grundy/HKFP.

The public school building was erected in 1954. At its peak, it educated 680 students under the same roof. As an inclusive local school, it helped foster integration between the Hakka and fishing communities.

Photo: Tom Grundy/HKFP.

The school was closed down in 2005 due to low enrolment rates. The now-abandoned buildings host remnants of school days gone by.

Photo: Tom Grundy/HKFP.

A faded poster instructs students on how to correctly hold a pencil.

Photo: Tom Grundy/HKFP.

Stacked school chairs lie rusting in a corner as posters and paint peel off the walls.

Photo: Tom Grundy/HKFP.

Abandoned student profiles and blackboards remain in crumbling classrooms.

Photo: Tom Grundy/HKFP.
Photo: Tom Grundy/HKFP.

Outdoor plants have crept over stripped, sun-bleached walls.

Photo: Tom Grundy/HKFP.
Photo: Tom Grundy/HKFP.
Photo: Tom Grundy/HKFP.

Trophies commemorating forgotten achievements collect dust.

Photo: Tom Grundy/HKFP.

Kat O is accessible via Kaito Ferry Services from Ma Liu Shui Pier Landing No. 3, near The Chinese University of Hong Kong. The Ferry journey takes 1 hour and 45 minutes.

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Rhoda Kwan

Rhoda Kwan is HKFP's Assistant Editor. She has previously written for TimeOut Hong Kong and worked at Meanjin, a literary journal. She holds a double bachelor’s degree in Law and Literature from the University of Hong Kong.