Sunday, December 20, 2009

School in the shadow

How would you like it if the front entrance of your school faces the back side of another school? If the balconies of your school look out at a wall-full of air-conditioners at the back of the other school? If your school is permanently in the shadow of the other school because your school is immediately to the north of the other one? (In the northern hemi-sphere, the sun is always in the south.) That is exactly the situation of this school in Kowloon Tong.

Evidently the school building was built according to the standard design adopted by practically all the recently-constructed school buildings funded by the government. The design works in most other places. Unfortunately in this case it is smack against the backside of another school - an International School in a much more favourable location, which adopted a much more sensible design.

Evidently the government did not bother to change the standard design to adapt to the special situation. I can imagine the rationalization from the government: if the design was changed it would have incurred more expenses, which would not have been fair to other schools; and it would have taken longer, which would not have been desirable for this school, ...

I suppose we should not be surprised by this, knowing that education in Hong Kong is run by bureaucrats, not educators. And our government sees education as no different from customs, crime-fighting, corruption-fighting, running wet-markets, ... Under this philosophy, many absurdities can be justified in the name of equality and fairness. Ironically, it does not insist on equality and fairness in the selection of the Chief Executive, nor the formation of the Legislative Council.

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