Malvern College HK: Requesting Reimbursement of Tuition Fee
Parents from the Malvern Community have unanimously decided to come together to put forward our concerns and needs, after having waited, in vain, for a response from the school authority with regard to reduction of tuition fees from February to June.
The headmaster’s last communication on freezing of tuition fees for AY 2020-2021 was dated 30 April 2020. The letter culminated with information on the availability of bursaries for affected families. It was brief, almost cursory, which left parents extremely disappointed.
Since then, we have not heard further on the matter from the school. As parents, we feel that there is a lack of open communication with regard to tuition fee rebate/reduction for February - June 2020. We understand many parents have written individually to the school requesting a fee reduction; but have all received a negative response.
As of today, many international schools in Hong Kong, which include Harrow International School, Nord Anglia International School, Kellett School, Canadian International School, Chinese International School, American International School, English Schools Foundation, etc, have written officially to parents, expressing their show of solidarity with parents during this very challenging and financially debilitating period. Even Shrewsbury International School which opened its doors at the same time as Malvern College has made the unprecedented offer of waiving capital levy. Such gestures of understanding and support go a long way in ensuring a healthy relationship between parents and school authorities.
Parents in Malvern are not exempt from the global financial downturn. We trust Malvern College to be able to empathize with what we are experiencing, much as we would like to be resilient. We trust Malvern College to recognize that it would be more than a measure of goodwill and support to us parents, should the school offer us a tuition fee discount.
Over the last four months, parents have had to straddle between our own work commitments and our children’s online learning. It has been challenging; even arduous, as the learning availed to our children (especially lower prep) requires a fair amount of close supervision by parents. Zoom sessions availed have not been instructional, but merely 15-20 minutes of casual chat. These have not served to share our burden. In addition to the above, the lack of face-to-face school activities should have translated to savings on school operational costs, including cleaning, electricity and water etc.
We understand that Malvern College has/will enjoy an additional funding from the government’s Covid-19 Employment Support Scheme. All eligible schools (including Malvern College) can claim up to HK$9,000 per staff member a month, for six months. Each school will receive a maximum of HK$800,000 a month, that means HK$4.8 million over half a year. We understand this funding has been instrumental in facilitating tuition fee discounts offered by the earlier mentioned international schools.
We took a leap of faith in Malvern College as a new school when it first started. Through the bumpy start, we have supported Malvern College to the best that we can. Now, as we are all thrust in this unprecedented period of economic challenge, we hold the belief that as joint stakeholders, we should all work in tandem with one another; so we may all ride out the storm together, an emerge with a greater confidence in Malvern College.
We look forward to a meeting at which parents and school management could meet and speak in a transparent manner on the tuition fee matter as soon as possible; for it is a matter of grave concern to many parents. Thank you.