Asked by : Hon CHEUNG Man-kwong
Replied by : SEM
Regarding the education of non-Chinese Asian children and youths in Hong Kong, will the Government inform this Council:
We understand that by "non-Chinese Asian children", the Hon Cheung Man-kwong is referring to children who are of Indian/ Pakistani/ Nepalese nationality and are residing in Hong Kong. The replies below are prepared on this basis.
Parts (a), (b) and (c)
According to the statistics of the Immigration Department, as at 10 November 2000, there are about 3000, 2300, and 3100 Indian, Pakistani and Nepalese children respectively who are aged below 15 and are residing in Hong Kong.
Under existing policy, all eligible local children (see Annex for eligibility criteria), including Indian/ Pakistani/ Nepalese children, may attend public sector schools in Hong Kong. In addition, they may choose to attend private/ international schools. Since a student's racial origin/ nationality does not affect his/ her eligibility to study, the Education Department (ED) does not keep separate statistics on the number of Indian/ Pakistani/ Nepalese children who are aged below 15 and are now studying in public sector or private/ international schools.
Government policy is to provide nine years of free and universal education to local children (including Indian/ Pakistani/ Nepalese) aged between 6 and 15. Under existing arrangement, schools are required to bring to ED's attention if children of this age group drop out from their schools, and the Department will take follow-up actions to ensure that these children will attend schools. At the time when this reply is being prepared, there are three Indian/ Pakistani/ Nepalese children who have dropped out from schools; ED is now actively finding school places for them.
In addition, ED from time to time also receives placement requests from local children, including Indian/ Pakistani/ Nepalese children. ED's performance pledge is to find a school place for these children within 21 working days, and those aged between 6 and 15 are guaranteed a public sector school place. However, since the placement service is provided to all local children alike, ED does not keep separate statistics on the number of Indian/ Pakistani/ Nepalese children who have sought the Department's assistance to find school places in the past three years, and the number of successful cases.
We are aware that there are children, including Indian/ Pakistani/ Nepalese children, who should be in schools but for various reasons do not attend schools although ED does not have an estimate of the number of these children. ED has been adopting the following measures to actively bring these children back to schools -
|Admission criteria of children to public sector schools in Hong Kong|
|Admission to public sector schools is restricted to children holding one of the following documents:|