Message from our School Supervisor and School Manager Franco Cutrupia
We are the first Italian School opening in Hong Kong, and cooperating directly with Reggio Children.
Why my wife Pauline and I initiated this project?
Well, everything started with the Italian School in Beijing, which was founded 4 years ago.
The Beijing project would not have been possible without our significant financial aid and my personal effort. I anyway can say with satisfaction that it has achieved a very high pedagogical level and received wide acknowledgment by the authorities, likewise by the educational experts and families, not only Italian ones.
That project has given us the possibility to meet our desire to contribute socially and it has indeed shown us a journey to follow and to let us make acquaintance with the person whom we work together, Mariassunta Peci, the scientific pedagogical coordinator.
Why this love in school projects?
Because in our entrepreneur perspectives, we would like not only to offer high quality education, but also to create new job opportunities for young professionals who might be Chinese, Italian and native English speakers
Why Hong Kong?
I was always enchanted by her, I always felt at home here and always had a special connection with its people. My wife is from Hong Kong, it is natural for me, with her, to think of a realisation of a School project here.
We intend to have an extraordinary project that will bridge the culture from which I come from and I am proud of, the Italian Culture, and the local culture, which is obviously deeply rooted in the world-famous and highly sophisticated Chinese culture and is also characterised by a large level of multiculturalism. In this way we would offer services both to Italian residents and local citizens.
We all know that first challenging point for such a project is the availability and the cost of the premises. And that’s why we decided to purchase the premises, more than 10,000 sq. feet large, at Ap Lei Chau, South Horizons, in front of the sea, having plenty of natural light in a tranquil environment. It is undoubtedly a significant disbursement, but it will assure the premises availability to the Italian International Kindergarten in both the short and long-term perspectives.
We have appointed the renovation and decoration project to a well-known Hong Kong architect, Mr. Rick Lam, who has big experience with kindergartens and schools in Hong Kong. The result is a modern, friendly and elegant looking area enjoying plenty of natural light.
Sapientia (H.K.) Limited is managing the School. The company is a “limited by guarantee” founded by my wife and me. It is a non-profit company, committed to social and cultural goals, and our firm intention is to have the HK government recognise it as a foundation in the near future.
Non-profit means that its Board of Directors will not receive any emolument and will give their services free of charge. However, this doesn’t mean that the company (that is expected to become a foundation soon) will not achieve the breakeven, and its own financial sustainability. That is of essence to have it last in time – as we, the Founders, firmly wish – and become a symbol of Italy in Hong Kong and then grow and integrate itself into the local society.
From the didactic point of view, I would like to highlight that we will be following the best of the Italian pedagogic tradition, which is well-known from Maria Montessori (who graduated from “La Sapienza” in Rome). This pedagogical tradition has evolved in time, resulting in one of the best.
The high-quality education is guaranteed by:
– the cooperation with REGGIO CHILDREN, the educational institution, which inspires schools and trains their teachers in more than 100 countries in the world. We entered an agreement with them. Soon our Principal and our teachers will go to Italy for a training course, while later the scientific team of the institution will periodically send their experts to advise and support our teachers. - the continuous advice of the scientific didactic coordinator Mariassunta Peci, supported by Giulia Ziggiotti, who are already steering the School in Beijing
I could not conclude without showing my gratitude to my wife, to the Italian Ambassador in China, Ettore Francesco Sequi, who enthusiastically and actively promoted the establishment of the Italian International Kindergarten with the Authorities of Hong Kong SAR, with the support of the former Consul General in Hong Kong, Mr. Antonello De Riu, and of the present Consul General Mr. Clemente Contestabile. Finally, I wish to express my gratitude to the local authorities of Hong Kong, whose well-known efficiency has shown us a very warm consideration.
四年前我們在北京首創意大利學校，學校的一切資金，由我倆全力支 援，一切的籌備工作也由本人多方努力才得以成功開辦。北京的意大 利學校，現今在教育界已具有很高的地位及水準，不僅意大利社圈， 更得到政府、教育專家和中西家庭的認可。
這所學校的成功使我們找到回饋社會願望的可行性，它使我們看到教 育發展的路向。同時在工作中，我們認識了一起工作的 Mariassunta Peci 女士，她是一位科學教學協調總監。
我們希望共同完成這個卓越的事業/理想，它是一座橋樑，將來自我家 鄉並使我引以為豪的意大利文化，與深植於舉世聞名、博大精深中國 的本土文化連接在一起。它將具有更廣泛多元文化的特徵，為意大利 人和港人提供優質的教育。
我們知道提供優質的教育，首先要具備良好舒適的校舍，所以購入位 於鴨脷洲海怡半島，面積超過 1 萬平方呎的校舍，它有著舒適優雅的 環境，面臨海灣，朝陽映照。這雖是一筆很大的投資，但它將確保為 意大利國際幼稚園實現短期和長期的願景提供適合的場地。
Sapientia (H.K.) 有限公司負責管理學校，是我和妻子共同創辦的 “擔保有限公司”。這是一家非牟利公司，致力於促進社會和文化發 展，我們懇切期待在不久的將來能得到香港政府認可為基金會。
非牟利意味著公司董事會成員不收任何報酬，免費提供服務。然而， 這並非代表這家公司(將成立基金會)無法實現盈虧平衡和財務上的可 持續性。我們作為創始人，確保它能長久存在，成為意大利在香港的 象徵，不斷壯大發展，融入香港社會。
從教學的角度來看，我想強調的是，我們遵循意大利傳統教育的最佳 教學法，源自著名的 Maria Montessori(畢業於羅馬的“La Sapienza”)。這種教學傳統經過長時間的推移和演變，成為最好的教 學傳統之一。
與教育機構 REGGIO CHILDREN 合作，該機構在全球 100 多個國家開辦 學校和培訓教師，雙方已達成合作伙伴協定。我們的校長和老師都會 前往意大利接受培訓，該機構的科學團隊亦將會定期派出專家，為我 們的老師提供支援和建議。
Giulia Ziggiotti 女士現為北京意大利學校的主要負責人，她會協助 科學教學協調總監 Mariassunta Peci 女士，為學校長期發展提供建議。
在此我要感謝我的妻子、意大利駐中國大使 Ettore Francesco Sequi 先生，他們積極熱烈的推動創立意大利國際幼稚園，又感激前意國駐 香港特別行政區總領事 Antonello De Riu 先生和現任總領事 Clemente Contestabile 先生，沒有他們的支援，也無法完成這一決定。最後， 我更要感謝以效率著稱的香港地方政府，給予我們的大力支持。
Pauline Ngai Cutrupia, Founder