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Primary School Education

 
Overview

The Government's policy objectives are to:

  • provide 12 years' free primary and secondary education to all children through public sector schools. In addition, the Government provides full subvention for full-time courses run by the Vocational Training Council for Secondary 3 leavers to offer an alternative free avenue for senior secondary students outside mainstream education;
  • provide a balanced and diversified school education that suits the different needs of students to help them construct knowledge, develop generic skills, and foster positive values and attitudes with a view to laying a firm foundation for further studies or work, to facilitate their healthy growth and whole-person development, as well as to nurture their lifelong learning capabilities;
  • enhance students’ proficiency in biliterate and trilingual communication;
  • enhance teaching quality and effectiveness in learning;
  • improve the learning and teaching environment;
  • provide students having special educational needs (SEN) with education services to develop their potential to the full;
  • help newly-arrived children (including newly-arrived children from the Mainland, non-Chinese speaking children and returnee children) integrate into the local community and overcome learning difficulties; and
  • enhance the quality, flexibility and accountability of school administration.

In the 2019/20 school year, there are 587 primary schools, 504 secondary day schools and 61 aided special schools.

 

Programme Highlights

The Government aims to raise the quality of primary school education:

  • by implementing whole-day primary schooling

    The Government aims to enable all primary school students to enjoy whole-day schooling.  Except one school, all government and aided primary schools have been converted into whole-day operation.  The Government would adopt a pragmatic and flexible approach in working out with the remaining bi-sessional school on an agreed whole-day conversion plan.  More details are available on the webpage of Major Initiatives - Whole-day Primary Schooling.

     

  • by implementing small class teaching (SCT) in public sector primary schools

    The Chief Executive has announced in the 2007-08 Policy Address that the Government will, where circumstances permit, implement SCT in public sector schools by phases, starting from Primary 1 in the 2009/10 school year and extending progressively to cover Primary 1 to Primary 6 by the 2014/15 school year.  The Government has been pragmatic and flexible with the implementation, taking into account the latest projection of school-aged student population, the availability of classrooms and schools’ development needs.  More details are available on the webpage of Small Class Teaching.  

     

  • by promoting the use of information technology (IT) in teaching and learning

    The Government launched the first, second and third IT in Education Strategies in 1998, 2004 and 2008 respectively to tie in with the global trend of harnessing IT to facilitate learning and teaching.  Building on the strengths and experiences of the previous strategies on Information Technology in Education (ITEd), the Government launched the Fourth Strategy on Information Technology in Education in the 2015/16 school year.  It is formulated to unleash the learning power of all our students to learn to learn and to excel through realising the potential of IT in enhancing interactive learning and teaching experiences.  To achieve this goal, the Government has adopted a holistic approach under which six actions are implemented.  More details are available on the webpage of the IT in Education.

     

  • by ongoing renewal of the school curriculum

    The curriculum reform is now moving towards continual curriculum renewal.  We will review and update relevant curriculum guides as necessary, and provide support to primary school heads, curriculum leaders and teachers, so as to foster students’ whole-person development and equip them for coping with different local and global changes.  More details are available on the webpage of Curriculum Development.

     

  • by enhancing the biliterate and trilingual abilities of students

    Our language policy is that students should be literate in both Chinese and English and be able to speak fluent Cantonese, Putonghua and English.  The Education Bureau (EDB)’s measures to enhance “biliteracy and trilingualism” include:

    • conducting ongoing curriculum reviews and updating the Chinese Language Education and English Language Education Key Learning Area Curriculum Guides to provide schools with suggestions for language curriculum development and planning;
    • providing the Putonghua curriculum, which covers Primary 1 to Secondary 3, to allow students more opportunities for practice;
    • encouraging schools to extend “Reading to Learn” to “Reading across the Curriculum” and “Language across the Curriculum” with a view to connecting students’ learning experiences in different subjects and broadening their knowledge base;
    • providing a new “Promotion of Reading Grant” to encourage the promotion of reading in schools starting from the 2018/19 school year;
    • starting from the 2014/15 school year, stepping up the support for non-Chinese speaking (NCS) students in learning the Chinese Language through, among others, the implementation of the “Chinese Language Curriculum Second Language Learning Framework” in primary and secondary schools, and providing diversified learning and teaching resources to schools; and
    • continuing to provide various professional development programmes for language teachers, language learning and teaching resources, and school-based language learning support services so as to enhance their teaching effectiveness.

    • by improving the learning environment

      School premises completed in recent years, some 40% bigger than the standard designs of 1995 in terms of total floor areas, provide more facilities and open space to meet the latest requirements for effective learning and teaching.  Most of them are individually designed by architects in the market, taking into consideration their physical locations and the educational visions of the school sponsoring bodies.  We have also put in place various measures to enhance facilities and environment for school premises built in accordance with the building standards at the time of construction.

       

    • by providing education services for newly arrived children and young people

      We are closely monitoring the admission of newly arrived children and young people to ensure that there are adequate school places and support services to cater for their educational needs. In parallel, we have been providing the following support services for these children and young people to help them integrate into the local school system as soon as possible -

      • school placement assistance
      • Induction Programme
      • Initiation Programme
      • School-based Support Scheme Grant
      More details are available on the webpage on Education and Support Services for Newly Arrived Children.

      • by adopting a dual-track mode in delivering special education

        We will, subject to the assessment and recommendations of specialists and the consent of parents, refer students with more severe or multiple disabilities to special schools for intensive support services.  Other students with special educational needs (SEN) will attend ordinary schools.  According to their types, the EDB will provide aided special schools with additional teachers, specialists and extra resources to meet the diverse needs of their students.  Some of the aided special schools operate a boarding section concurrently to provide boarding service.  The EDB has all along been promoting integrated education in accordance with five basic principles of early identification, early intervention, Whole School Approach, home-school co-operation and cross-sector collaboration.  In addition to the regular subvention, the EDB provides public sector ordinary schools with additional resources, professional support and teacher training to help schools cater for students with SEN.  In the 2019/20 school year, all public sector ordinary schools have been provided with Special Educational Needs Coordinator (SENCO) to support integrated education.  Concurrently, for schools with comparatively large number of students with SEN, the rank of their SENCO has been upgraded to a promotion rank.  More details are available on the webpage of Special Education.