25th September 2013
Chinese Immigrant Changes Religion Hoping to Enter La Salle Primary School
In order to secure a place in famous schools, some parents spend massive amount of money to move to a different district as well as on sending their children to take different courses ahead of application. A newly immigrated young Chinese mother who originally is a Buddhist, changed her religion in the hope of helping her son to win a school place in La Salle Primary School. However, she joint a Protestant Church instead of a Catholic Church, which did not grant her son any extra point (religion is a category that some schools regard as a bonus in the application process) as the school itself is Catholic.
Yesterday, La Salle Primary School began to accept applications from children prior to the Central Allocation begins. Around 30 parents queued outside the school to get application forms for their children. Mrs Cheng was one of the parents in the queue hoping to get a form for her oldest son. Her son was born in Hong Kong five years ago, and he was an anchor baby (i.e. neither of his parent is Hong Kong permanent resident nor has Hong Kong citizenship when he was born). Cheng and her family immigrated to Hong Kong via the investment scheme two years ago and became Hong Kong citizens, currently living in a 2,150 sq. ft. luxurious apartment in Ho Man Tin. Mrs Cheng’s husband runs agricultural and property businesses in China. She spends thousands of dollars (US$) on her son to learn English, mathematics, piano and painting. His tutor is a foreigner who give 1 to 1 lessons. Most of the La Salle Primary School applicants fulfill two “bonus point requirements”: within a certain age range (10 points) and first child of the family (5 points). Therefore, the key bonus point requirement is religion (5 points). Mrs Cheng made a tremendous sacrifice, “I made a huge step! I was a Buddhist, but I have decided to join the Protestant Church!” However, La Salle Primary School is a Catholic school, which means Mrs Cheng’s son will not be able to gain the 5 bonus points and her sacrifice might have been in vain.
Some parents even provide fake address in Kowloon Tong. Mr Lee, another parent, said that this is wrong as it will set a bad example to children.