Thursday, February 07, 2013

Schools for the rich

Here is yet another reason why it is so much easier for the rich to get educated.

The English School Foundation is saying you can nominate a child to an ESF school with a $500,000 debenture.  150 places have been reserved for this scheme, out of the ~1,000 students admitted each year.  They claim this is not a debenture, which confers a right to a place at a school.  They call theirs the “Nomination Right Scheme”, which “only” confers a right to “nominate” a child, who still have to be interviewed, as if it makes a great difference.

In reality, this only creates yet another privileged class (those who can afford the additional $500,000) within a privileged class (whose who can afford the $66,100 - $102,000 school fees each year).

In the colonial times, ESF was for the children of the colonial masters and rich expatriates.  Now it is for the merely rich.  For the poor, it has always been out of reach. 

For a while, there were good schools in Hong Kong where you have a decent chance to get into, if you are really intelligent and you study really hard, even if you are poor.  Now it is getting harder and harder.  Many of these schools have turned into Direct Subsidy Schools, where you have to pay tens of thousands dollars each year.  That’s where it really hurts.  

That’s how our society keep the poor poor - keep them out of the good schools; keep them out of universities, at least the good ones; keep them away from the good jobs; keep them away from sharing the spoils.

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