I am not sure whether the SCMP simply doesn’t understand (see also the so-called “Sha Tin to Central” link) or whether they really love clickbait.
South China Morning Post | 28 March 2018 | Peace Chiu
The biggest group of international schools catering to English-speaking children has proposed fee increases of up to 24.7 per cent as the loss of its government subvention affects Primary Three level.
This means that the English Schools Foundation could charge parents of Year Three pupils HK$111,200 for the school year starting in August, compared with HK$89,200 this year.
It's nonsense, of course. The actual increase is about 4.5%.
Why? Because you need to compare the fees for students who are currently in year 2 with fees for the same students when they transfer from Year 2 to Year 3 at the start of the new school year in August.
If you compare students in next year’s Year 3 with current Y3 students then, yes, they are paying higher fees. That’s because of the long-drawn out way that the government is withdrawing the subvention. But no student will be paying 25% more than they are currently paying. The SCMP report does go on to mention what’s really happening:
CEO Belinda Greer explained in a letter to parents that HK$17,300 of the planned increase was due to the loss of the subvention, which started being phased out two years ago and will last for a period of 13 years.
Indeed. But that HK$17,300 “increase” is something that all parents will have known about when they enrolled their children in an ESF school. Not a surprise at all.
The ESF runs 22 international schools for about 17,700 pupils from more than 60 nationalities.
“[The] government subvention will continue for all students in Years Four to 13 in 2018-19,” she said.
“A new fee structure applies to students who joined ESF Year One in August 2016 and August 2017, and to students joining ESF Year One in August 2018.”
For Years One and Two of its primary schools, including the Jockey Club Sarah Roe school, the foundation plans to raise fees from HK$106,500 to HK$111,200. For Years Four to Six, the proposed increase is from HK$89,200 to HK$93,900. For Years Seven to 11 of its secondary schools, including the Jockey Club Sarah Roe school, the foundation plans to raise fees from HK$122,900 to HK$128,400. For Years 12 and 13, the proposed increase is from HK$129,100 to HK$135,000.
Greer told parents: “I want to assure you that our financial planning takes careful account of the need for financial prudence, as well as the impact that any fee increase has on our parents.”
She said the average increase was at the minimum level needed to meet rising costs while maintaining the quality of education.
Oh, and then there are the comments.