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Thursday, Apr 25, 2024

Ex-Hong Kong school head charged with misconduct over alleged tutor centre link

Ex-Hong Kong school head charged with misconduct over alleged tutor centre link

Henry Kwok, former principal of Tak Sun School, allegedly divulged examination questions to a private tutorial centre in which he had a financial interest.

A former primary school head in Hong Kong has been charged by the city’s anti-graft agency for divulging examination questions to a private tutorial centre in which he had a financial interest.

Henry Kwok Chiu-kwan, 50, former principal of government-subsidised Tak Sun School in Jordan, faces one count of misconduct in public office for allegedly concealing his financial interest in a tutorial centre from his employer.

Kwok and Pang Wing-han, 46, former director and shareholder of Diligence Learning Centre Limited, which offered tutoring services near the school, also jointly face another count of conspiracy to commit misconduct in public office.

They allegedly divulged confidential examination and quiz questions to the tutorial centre before the tests were held, according to the Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC).

Henry Kwok, former principal of the Tak Sun School.

An investigation found that Kwok was required to file a form with a written declaration of conflict of interest to the school annually.

But prosecutors allege he concealed his financial interest in the tutorial centre from the school’s incorporated management committee between July 2017 and June 2021.

The probe revealed Kwok had allegedly borrowed more than HK$400,000 (US$51,000) from his mother to start a tutorial centre in June 2017. In July that year, he was said to have transferred the money to a bank account belonging to Pang.

Kwok and Pang are also believed to have conspired together over the sharing of examination and quiz questions, including those for Primary Five and Six, before the scheduled assessments were to take place.

The graft-buster’s investigation showed Kwok had submitted four annual conflict of interest declaration forms to his employer, stating he and his direct relatives had no financial connection to any organisations that had official dealings with the school.

According to the city’s secondary school place allocation system, administered by the Education Bureau, spots in Form One are determined according to students’ internal assessment results for a number of subjects.

Under the system, Tak Sun School was required to submit the assessment results for students in term three of Primary Five and terms one and two of Primary Six.

The case will be brought before the West Kowloon Court on Tuesday, pending the prosecution’s application for transferring it to the District Court.

Kwok was a recipient of a Chief Executive’s Award for Teaching Excellence Certificate of Merit for moral and civic education in the 2010-11 academic year. He was suspended from his principal role in the school after being arrested by ICAC in 2021.

Kwok’s arrest in 2021 shocked the parents of children who attended the school. The East Asian Educational Association at the time said Kwok, who had led the well-known 93-year-old Catholic boy’s primary school since 2013, could not discharge his duties and had to go on leave.


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