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Disclosures of information in Kindergarden Profiles by Kindergarten

LEGCO QUESTION NO. 13(WRITTEN REPLY)



Date of Meeting: 25 April 2001



Asked by : Hon CHOY So-yuk

Replied by : SEM

Question :

Last month, the Home-School Co-operation Committee of the Education Department published this year's Kindergarten Profiles. It was reported that 124 kindergartens had refused to include in the Kindergarten Profiles information on the miscellaneous fees they would charge on the parents. In this connection, will the Government inform this Council whether:

  1. it has assessed if such practice of these kindergartens has compromised the parents' right to be informed; and

  2. it will consider ordering all kindergartens to make public such information; if not, of the reasons for that?


Reply:

Madam President,

  To provide parents with more information to help them choose a suitable kindergarten for their children, and to enhance the transparency of school operations, the Committee on Home-School Co-operation and the Education Department jointly publish a Profile of Kindergartens (the Profile). First issued in the 1999/2000 school year, the Profile provides a brief account of all kindergartens in Hong Kong.

The Profile contains information of the current school year. As from this school year, it also includes information on miscellaneous fees charged by individual kindergartens. Such information is provided by the schools on a voluntary basis. Of the 772 kindergartens covered by the Profile, 648 have provided the information. The publication of the Profile has aroused much public attention. Parents are particularly concerned about the level of fees. Some kindergartens even took the initiative to promptly amend the data they had provided. It is also important for parents to know which kindergarten has not released relevant information. This would alert them to seek further information as and when necessary.

Administration Circular No. 19/2000 issued by the Education Department reminds kindergartens of the need to proactively provide, in their leaflets, notices or admission application forms, parents seeking admission for their children in the coming school year with basic information of the school, including school fees and other charges (i.e. miscellaneous fees). This is to ensure that parents have information on the fees and charges of the kindergartens to assist them in choosing a kindergarten for their children.

In view of the above, irrespective of whether a kindergarten has provided all information concerning miscellaneous fees in the Profile, parents' right to be informed in this area is adequately protected. For the time being, Government has no intention to direct all kindergartens to publish such information in the Profile.

Last revision date: 25 April 2001
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