Hong Kong Schooling, is your child primary 1 Sep 2012?
We are just wondering if there are any other Hong Kong based CX staff having trouble getting their children into an affordable international school, our child starts primary 1 in September. We did not get any ESF interviews (Cathay covers 90 per cent of these school) we applied to 3 ESF (yes we applied when we should have) and are currently number 700 on the list at one, 430 at another (in our zone) and 230 at another. We have applied to 4 other 75 per cent covered schools, we got accepted into one but the fees are $125 thousand per year (CX covers 75 per cent of this ) plus we have an annual capital levy of $50.000 that has no subsidy from CX.
There is another CX staff in our building who also did not get any ESF interviews (90 per cent covered by CX) for the coming school year primary one. The guy we spoke to in our building that is in our position also said heís looking elsewhere for a job as heís not prepared for the family separation if he has to send his family home to be schooled.
We have also found another family who came back to HK for a command and was told that they could have a place at the Aussie school if they paid the 1 million dollar debenture.
We have been HK based CX staff for 10 years and have had our daughter on international school lists that are not ESF for over 2 years. The school fees with the CX help are achievable but the increasing capital levies and debentures (not CX subsidised) are getting beyond our reach. Or if you have not had your child on the list for over 18 months to 2 years you have no chance of a place in the current school climate.
We have spoken with a union rep but schooling is way down on the list, so We would appreciate any feedback from guys whom are in the same position or could be in the same position. Whatís your plan? Thanks for your time, its most appreciated.
I find it hard to believe that you know of a family who came to HK from Australia and they were not offered a place in AISHK. They have a policy of always accepting the children of people who come to HK mid term. If you are Australian you do not need to pay a levy, just the $10,000 January ripoff. I have never heard of them not accepting an Australian child who applied at the "right time". As for ESF, there is a shortage that the HK government wont publicly acknowledge (must not provide whitey, i mean English, education in the glorious workers paradise).
would you like the persons contact number, The school did have a change of heart and told them if they donated a very large figure they would find a place for there child. (try 7 figures)
You are very out of touch, the Aussie school capital levy is now 13k per year (not covered by education allowance) and there is a waiting list.. they cant let you in just because your an aussie or kiwi if there are no more spaces.
and as for a big secret about lack of positions in ESF would you like me to link the articles in both the standard and scmp on this issue.
If people are having similar problems PM me, i need some more ammo, the AOA has said they are not interested as it affects such a small %, ie only those with kids just hitting schooling age, but i feel this is a massive issue and one that anyone contemplating returning to HK for a command better check into as its hard enough getting a 5 year old into a school but from what we are hearing getting an older kid in is next to impossible.
We had our two sons at Kellett School for Primary 1 through 3, then - as this was a much cheaper alternative which also offered more sports and other outdoor opportunities - enrolled them at Australian boarding schools. Never looked back.
apparently 5 years ago was a "golden year" and all the locals wanted their child to be born then. Hence the rise in ESF/school applications, up 30% from last year. I was told that TCY changed the language requirements and local school now had to teach in Cantonese? Not sure how true this is but explains why there are no ESF spots for expats anymore.
The system is very flawed and requires a major overhaul.
Why have you only put your child's name down 2 years prior to starting school?What were you doing for the 2-3 years earlier? If you have been here for 10 years you should have known that schooling is an issue and to put him/her down as soon as possible (as soon as they have a birth certificate).
I do feel for your situation, but it is through choices you made. It's not the AOA's fault. Although , maybe as part as a welcome/new joiners pack, it can be emphasized how hard it is to get children into school in Hong Kong and use your case as an example.
I am planning to cross the PRD to HKA as DE Capt A330, but am struggling:
1) Wife wont live in a highrise shoebox 2) Schools want HK$70k/child to fast track the lists 3) HKA does not subsidise schools/accomodation 4) Total HKA pay is HK$120k-ish gross, from which to pay school and accom.
I am not a magician, so if anyone knows one, please can you help me find a way to square this circle? On paper, HKA looks like a good long-term career move, but if I cant find school places and somewhere to live I am stuck....
All I can suggest is invent a time machine, go back to the 1980's or early nineties and join Cathay Pacific. That's when they paid A Scale; this and the other expat benefits made these problems go away.
A continuous succession of pilots undercutting their forebears, the latest being the CX iCadets, is making expat aviation careers in Hong Kong untenable.
You could consider commuting from elsewhere in Asia. Maybe there are other PPRuNers with the gen on living in Macau.
I understand your predicament and it not only effects you but everyone else who has tried to enroll their kids in school. Or better yet - has there kids in school.
One thing that everyone seems to miss is the standard of education that is being offered for their kids. The schools are hard to get into but the standard of teaching in HK has fallen dramatically over the last 10-15 years. When a friend of mine was head hunted for a teaching position here 20 years ago the standard was very high. Now-a-days the standard she said has fallen because of limited slots and pay reductions, eroded over time. She left HK a year or to ago because she could not morally accept what was happening to the education system in HK. She was in a private school that had a huge proportion of Ex-Pat kids in it. Little pay increases, longer hours, constantly undermined my the new teachers that had little or no education or teaching experience. (Reminds me of another industry).
Standards in teaching has fallen over time in HK.
I for one have hired a private teacher to education my children. I will be sending to a boarding school overseas to receive a better education when they reach the appropriate age.
Would I leave my job to help my kids get a better education?? Good question. I would take my kids out of HK to get them a better education.
If you know any expat teachers in HK (as I do), ask them about the erosion of their T & Cs over the years. In exactly the same way as airline bean counters have attacked our T & Cs, teachers & probably a number of other professionals, have been devalued.
If you know any teacher employed by ESF, ask them their opinion of their CEO. The comments will be stronger than comments by CX pilots about the current CX CEO. In fact the sheer contempt they have for their CEO has very scary parallels to some of the opinions we had of a previous CEO, initials DT.
3 ESF schools during the only month last year they were open for applications. We are 700 on one list, 430 on another and 230 on another. No interviews. We are permanent residents, so this is not a factor as some may think. We are 430 on a list at a school that is zoned solely for our area.
CX offers 90 percept subsidies for these schools.
The other 4 schools, 75 per cent subsidy
Aussie school - $1500.00 HK dollars gets you on the list for 2 years prior to starting.
Harrow - $1000 dollars got us an interview with Fees $125000 per year and a capital levy of $50000 yearly. Thatís nearly an extra $5000.00 0n top 25% per month we will pay.
South Lantau primary- We have gone from 19 to 33rd place school that takes only 12 new students because of other priorities. By the way then where?
The 4th well there is a possibility of getting onto there waiting list for a place after the interview, we have had our daughter on this list for 3.5 years. Again the fees are $150000 per year with a levy.
You ask what are we doing with our money? Probably the same as you, but why should you be paying $1000 dollars a month for school fees at ESF plus bus when the guy next door is paying levyís and getting a 75 per cent subsidy for his school in this current climate, itís hard to get into the ESF school. Discovery collage and the Aussie school are nearly on par in yearly fees not including the Aussie school levy.
The above people have obviously got their kids into a school so therefore please refrain from your rude banter we are doing everything we can to exhaust our options. You may even have your child in the ESF system so are getting the cheap ride under the CX school scheme that some of us have not the privilege in having.
I have posted this because I would like to see if there are any others in the same position as us so that we can solve it together. My wife and children are important, I am hoping to have them not go back to our homeland and become a commuter. We enjoy our life in Hong Kong if youíre not happy at CX then leave; your rude comments are not needed here.
Maybe all this unnecessary reproduction isn't such a great idea for those who would like to have a nice career, live in a nice home in a nice place, enjoy their lives and make enough money to retire well before dying?