The Education Bureau has expressed concern about an announcement made by Rosaryhill Secondary School that it will close in three years due to falling enrollment and financial difficulties.
The school’s sponsoring body, the Dominican Missions, earlier announced that Rosaryhill Secondary on Stubbs Road will cease operations from the 2025-2026 academic year, and will no longer admit new students from next year.
It also announced that Rosaryhill Kindergarten and Rosaryhill (Primary) School will be combined with Dalton School Hong Kong to ensure a sustainable development going forward.
But the decision to close Rosaryhill Secondary raised eyebrows among both school staff and parents.
The school's principal, So Pui-ting, released a short-lived statement on Sunday arguing that student numbers in the aided institution had been increasing, and that the school had no financial difficulties.
The school’s parent-teacher association also expressed disappointment that it had never been consulted over the decision.
In response, the school’s supervisor, Hyacinth He, issued another letter to parents on Monday, explaining that closing Rosaryhill Secondary School is an appropriate move because it had suffered from a six percent drop in student numbers from 2019, and there’s no end in sight to this continual decline.
He added that while the government had been providing support to the school, it's becoming increasing difficult to maintain high-quality education within a limited budget.
Students, however, were taken aback by the decision.
"I was kind of surprised. This was unexpected. I think they are really good at teaching... I like this school because of the teachers there,” a student surnamed Hung said.
"It's disappointing. I'm not sure about anything. I'll stay here as long as it's here,” another form four student said.
Education sector lawmaker Chu Kwok-keung urged Dominican Missions to suspend its decision for the time being, and consider looking for other operators to take over Rosaryhill Secondary School.
"Operating a school is not a business. It's different from operating an organisation or a company," he said.
"There are people in a school. There are teachers. There are students. They all have feelings."
Chu noted that many more secondary schools may close down in the coming years due to falling enrollment, and called on the government to implement policies to boost student numbers, by, for example, attracting more Hong Kong-born mainland pupils to study in the city.
Legislator Eunice Yung, who's an alumna of Rosaryhill Secondary School, also said the government should do more to help students who are affected by the closure.
"I think the EDB should bear more responsibility this time by letting the parents know about the future, and what they should do about the form one to form three students,” she said.
The Education Bureau, for its part, urged the school and its governing body to ensure the welfare of students, and to provide them with the necessary support.
The bureau added that it will continue to communicate with the relevant stakeholders.
Last updated: 2023-09-18 HKT 17:29