education gap

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 05 January, 2010, 12:00am
UPDATED : Friday, 21 February, 2014, 6:41pm

Reading comprehension

Answer the following questions:

1 What are school debentures?

a. part of the curriculum

b. part of school fees

c. long-term debt instruments which schools sell to parents and companies to raise funds

d. the shares on the stock exchange

2 Why do parents buy school debentures?

a. They see the potential for making a large sum by trading them

b. They are keen to contribute to school building works

c. They want their children to get an all-round education

d. They want to make sure their children get into elite schools

3 At ISF Academy, the issue price of its debenture has risen ___ since June 2007.

a. by HK$700,000

b. eightfold

c. by 80 per cent

d. by HK$200,000

4 According to Wing Chan, how do schools guarantee debenture buyers will get a school place?

a. They limit the number of debentures they issue

b. They open new classes

c. They get rid of existing students who have not bought debentures

d. They only sell the debentures through agencies and to parents with close ties

Think about

1 Why has there been a rise in the prices for school debentures? Does it indicate an increase in the demand for places in elite schools?

2 What is the impact of school debentures on children from families who cannot afford them?

3 Do you think only well-off children are entitled to a good education?

4 What should be the criteria, for example intelligence, academic background, talents, in determining who has the right to attend elite schools?


1 International schools are mostly private schools. They offer curriculums different from local government-aided schools. Most of them post their school fees, facilities and curriculums on their websites. Find this information and list the differences between international schools and local schools.


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