LEGCO QUESTION NO. 17(WRITTEN REPLY)
Date of Meeting: 7 February 2001
Asked by : The Hon LAW Chi-kwong
Replied by : SEM
Regarding the provision of further education opportunities for people with disabilities who have completed junior secondary education in special schools, will the Government inform this Council :
- of the percentage of such students who proceeded to further studies in the past three years;
- whether it plans to operate senior secondary classes in special schools; and
- whether the Administration has allocated resources at present to cater for the special needs of people with disabilities receiving education at senior secondary level or above; if so, of the annual amount of resources allocated and the details of the allocation; if not, the reasons for it?
There are 55 special schools in Hong Kong which provide education for persons with various disabilities. Of these, 13 offer the ordinary school curriculum, including one school for the visually impaired, four schools for the hearing impaired, seven schools for the physically handicapped and one hospital school. The remaining 41 schools for the mentally handicapped and one school for the visually impaired with mental handicap do not offer the ordinary school curriculum.
- Over the past three years, the percentages of disabled students who continued further studies after completion of junior secondary education (S3) in special schools that offer the ordinary school curriculum are as follows:
1997/1998 school year : 65% (66 out of 101 S3 leavers)
1998/1999 school year : 53% (71 out of 133 S3 leavers)
1999/2000 school year : 55% (71 out of 128 S3 leavers)
- Among the 13 special schools that offer the ordinary school curriculum, three schools for the hearing impaired, and two schools for the physically handicapped provide senior secondary education. In line with the policy to provide senior secondary education for all secondary three leavers who are willing and capable of further studies, the Education Department (ED) is reviewing the case for providing senior secondary education in the special school for the visually impaired, and extending the period of education in the 41 schools for the mentally handicapped and the school for the visually impaired with mental handicap.
- On completion of junior secondary education, some students with disabilities pursue further education in special schools. At present, there are three special schools for the hearing impaired and two special schools for the physically handicapped that offer 120 and 40 senior secondary places respectively. These schools have all the necessary support for students with such disabilities.
As for students with disabilities pursuing senior secondary classes in ordinary schools, ED provides the following services and subsidy:
- Students with moderate or severe visual impairment are covered by the Resource Teaching Programme provided by the special school for the visually impaired. Half an additional teacher is provided to cater for one to four such students. The ordinary schools concerned may receive a Resource Material Grant of $270 per visually impaired student per year. At present, 20 senior secondary students are receiving such service.
- Hearing impaired students may receive audiological services at the special education services centers of ED. Through the Peripatetic Advisory Service, ED also provides professional advice to schools, teachers, parents and students on education and management of the hearing impaired integrators. At present, 132 senior secondary students are receiving such service.
- Physically handicapped students may receive resource help service provided by ED at school or at the special education services centers of ED. The service comprises remedial teaching on the three subjects of Chinese, English and Mathematics, and guidance on school adjustment. At present, 19 senior secondary students are receiving such service.
- Students with speech problems may receive speech assessment and therapy service provided by ED. It is estimated that 120 senior secondary students receive such service in the 2000/01 school year.
- ED provides psychological services to support the special educational needs of individual students. It takes the form of student assessment and follow-up services, and professional advice to teachers on the design of individual teaching plans and management of student problems.
- ED also provides the following resources to schools for implementing the whole-school approach to integrated education :
- a non-recurrent grant of $50,000 is provided to schools for purchasing additional equipment for pupils or paying for minor works;
- an annual recurrent grant of $1,000 is provided to schools for each disabled pupil (i.e. physical handicapped, visually impaired, hearing impaired, mildly mentally handicapped or autistic with average intelligence) for organizing activities and supportive programmes;
- an additional resource teacher at the Certificated Master/Mistress (CM) rank is provided for each school admitting five or more target pupils to support the implementation of integrated education; and
- an additional teacher assistant is provided for each school admitting eight or more target pupils to assist the aforesaid resource teacher.
There are 17 senior secondary students participating in the programme in the 2000/01 school year.
- Ordinary public sector schools admitting disabled students not covered by ED's integrated education programme can apply for the Special Educational Needs Incidental Charges Grant at the rate of $700 per disabled person per year. The grant is to support educational activities and procurement of learning aids. In the 2000/01 school year, this grant is disbursed in respect of 85 senior secondary students.