Education for non-Chinese children
Asked by : Hon Emily LAU
Replied by : SEM
On the question of education for non-Chinese speaking children, will the Executive Authorities inform this Council:
- of the current number of such children together with a breakdown according to their ethnic background;
- of the current number of such children who cannot find school places in aided schools and the reasons for that;
- whether the Administration has assessed the effectiveness of the grant introduced in the last school year which provides subsidies to primary and secondary schools at the rates of $2,750 and $4,080 respectively for each non-Chinese speaking child admitted; if so, of the assessment results; and
- of the specific plans to meet the education needs of non-Chinese speaking children?
|I understand from the Hon Emily Lau that by non-Chinese speaking (NCS) children, she is referring to children whose mother tongue is not Chinese, and are aged between 6 to 15.|
We do not keep statistics on the number of NCS children residing in Hong Kong. We can however estimate the number of NCS children based on the number of children of a non-Chinese ethnic origin. According to the 2001 Population Census conducted by the Census and Statistics Department, the number of such children together with a breakdown of their ethnic background is at Annex I.
Under current policy, all eligible local children (see Annex II for eligibility criteria), including NCS children, are entitled to nine-year free and universal education. To enable NCS children to integrate into the local community as soon as possible, the Government encourages them to attend public sector schools (i.e., government schools and aided schools). These children may request placement assistance from the Education Department (ED) if necessary. ED's performance pledge is to find a school place for them within 21 working days. All along, ED has been able to find a school place for all NCS children seeking its assistance.
To enable schools to provide school-based support programmes for NCS children, we have been providing block grants to schools admitting NCS children starting from the last school year. To ensure proper use of the grant, schools are required to apply to ED for the grant and propose how to use the grant in their applications. ED, through its regular school visits, also renders advice to schools on how to run these programmes. To measure the effectiveness of the grant, ED will require schools receiving the grant to conduct self-evaluation by the end of this school year on how their school-based support programmes have helped NCS children.
|d.||Apart from block grant and placement assistance mentioned in (b) and (c) above, subventions are also provided to non-governmental organisations (NGOs) for running induction programmes to help NCS children adapt to the local school environment. In addition, ED conducts briefing and experience sharing sessions with relevant NGOs from time to time to see how our education and support services could be better publicised among these children and their parents. To further strengthen the support service for NCS children, ED is considering to run a half-year full-time "initiation programme" for these children starting from early next year. The "initiation programme" aims at enhancing the Chinese and English standards of these children, as well as providing them with learning experience in the local classroom context.|
|Number of children Aged 6-15 of
Non-Chinese Ethnic Groups by Ethnicity, 2001
|Admission criteria of children to public sector schools
in Hong Kong
Children holding one of the following documents can be admitted to public sector schools: