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Friday 26-Jan-2018
【Oh!爸媽】寄宿揀地區好過揀排名

假如我有仔女要在香港讀書,揀學校我可能也會很虎爸,首選喇沙、拔萃等頂尖學校,不會挑上屯門梁植偉,之不過,會有這樣決定,主要原因還因爲我家在香港,仔女放學後便回家裏住,揀學校的考慮就當然比較純粹。假若仔仔女女要在校寄宿,家長要考量的因素便不只是學校學術表現這麼簡單,事關同學仔讀書不是只返學放學,還要融入社區環境,在校園區域生活起居,所以寄宿的話,我認為揀學校地區有時比揀排名更重要,必要時寧願選排名不高,遠些少但生活質素高的學校。

 

「Samuel,魚與熊掌,可唔可以兼得先?」

 

唔係話唔得,但確實困難。英國地方大,有招生區域(catchment area)制,大城市如倫敦、伯明罕人口多,本地學生在沒有選擇下要入讀自己招生區域的學校,順勢提高了學校的排名,令到這些地方擁有很多排名高的學校。然而,這未必代表學校的校風或德育特別好,更加不代表該地區適合學生——特別是離鄉別井的海外生——生活。


倫敦曾試過很多年都被選為最不直居住的地方。

 

倫敦和伯明罕確有不少排名很高的名校,可是在「全英十大惡住城市」名單上,兩位在歷年不少調查中都被選為全英最不宜居的地方,最新鮮熱辣的結果,倫敦更是惡住之都的首位。我自己當年在首都也見證了許多大都會的嚴重問題,近年更有黑工猖獗犯罪率高企的趨勢。若我是家長,至少在子女太年輕時絕不會想他們獨自居住在如此環境。就算撇開社會問題不談,最近就有家長向我反映仔仔入了倫敦的Dulwich College,但阿仔日日落唐人街飲茶,朋友圈全是中國人,令有心送他去英國浸鹹水吸收英國文化的父母大失所望。也難怪嘅,Dulwich College全校寄宿人數只有寥寥二三百人,校內的英國人多在倫敦的家住,所以縱使學校排名高成績好,但始終非一間正規的寄宿學校,想真正體驗真正英國寄宿教育文化,又真是差了一層。


Dulwich College

 

另有家長分享,話特登送個女去牛津區讀Headington,揀女校是想囡囡不會為拍拖而分心,Headdington更有IB及A-level可選,成績又有保證。豈料家長實地探訪時才驚覺原來學校對面便是Oxford Brooke’s大學,每日放學時段便見到女校門口站滿大學男生等放學,簡直與爸媽的一片苦心相違背。計我話,純粹用女校比女校,Headington當然在學術排名上比Royal High School Bath好,可是Bath這地方勝在民風純樸正派,好適合學生特別是國際學生生活成長。送囡囡去,家長就不必在香港嚇到鼻哥窿無肉。


Headington School

 

英國常有各種調查,公佈國內哪些地區最適宜建立家庭。要送子女去寄宿,這些結果就算不能完全作準,對家長們也很具參考價值,皆因此類統計準則往往包括區內學校水平、失業率高低、人均收入、治安狀況,以及一般家庭的教養水平。最終能被冠上「宜居」光環的地區,相對有條件提供安全舒適的環境讓學生讀書和成長,家長越洋把子女送到這些地區寄宿,亦可以比較安心,同學仔讀書亦會更輕鬆安樂。哪些地區在全英叫得上「宜居」?Surrey、Devon、 Norfolk等地區都常是榜上客,它們的共通點多是區內住有傳統的old money家庭,上一代已讀私校兼有較高教育水平,經濟狀況優異且文化水平高。以個別學校作比較,這些地區可能與大城市真的無得比,但講到送仔女去寄宿,我卻寧願棄排名而取宜居,讓同學仔能在較偏遠卻安全健康的地方,度過無憂的中學校園生活。


Devon

 

原文:http://www.ohpama.com/260160/overseas/%E3%80%90samuel-chan%E3%80%91%E5%AF%84%E5%AE%BF%E6%8F%80%E5%9C%B0%E5%8D%80%E5%A5%BD%E9%81%8E%E6%8F%80%E6%8E%92%E5%90%8D/

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Samuel Chan, the winner of Alumni Awards 2017, is the founder of Britannia. He had studied in the UK since the age of 9 for 15 years and achieved his master degree in International Political Economy at University of Warwick. Now he shares his experiences and professional advice in education columns in Hong Kong’s major newspapers.

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