Dispute at Hong Kong’s German Swiss International School highlights prickly matter of language requirements for board members

Apr 16, 2019 by

A controversy at a prestigious Hong Kong international school has cast light on the governance of overseas-funded schools, which have contrasting requirements for sitting board members.Image result for Swiss flag

The German Swiss International School backed down from a plan to suspend the voting rights of non-German speaking parents sitting on its board.

It made the U-turn on Wednesday, about two weeks after the plan had been revealed to the Post.

The row erupted on the board of the school, which is funded by the governments of Germany and Switzerland, after three Chinese parents who do not speak German fluently were elected as board directors last month.

According to an article of the board’s regulations, only members who are fluent in written and spoken German are eligible to become directors.

The three parents were each given the title of “pending director” despite being successful in the election in early March.

“They obtained a reasonable amount of votes from members but instead of being installed in office like the German-speaking members who also won sufficient votes, they were dismissed for their lack of the language,” a source close to the board told the Post.

Source: Dispute at Hong Kong’s German Swiss International School highlights prickly matter of language requirements for board members | South China Morning Post

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