80pc of kindergartens apply for fee increases

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 21 July, 2010, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 21 July, 2010, 12:00am

Nearly 80 per cent of kindergartens - 741 out of 950 - have applied to increase their school fees for the coming academic year.

Meanwhile, six have applied for a fee reduction and 163 will freeze their fees, the Education Bureau said.

The number seeking a fee increase is a 26 per cent rise from the 588 kindergartens that applied to raise their fees at the same time last year. Eight kindergartens applied for a fee reduction last year.

Mary Tong Siu-fun, chairwoman of the Hong Kong Kindergarten Association, said the increases that were being sought ranged from 4 per cent to 15 per cent, with an average of 10 per cent.

A spokeswoman for First Assembly of God Primary School and Kindergarten said it had applied for a 7 per cent rise in it kindergarten fees.

The bureau said 28 out of 47 private schools had also applied to raise their fees.

A spokeswoman said the bureau would carefully consider the justifications that had been put forward by the schools for an increase in tuition fees. 'We will delve into the estimations of cost and expenditure done by the schools for their applications ... to ensure that the levels of kindergarten tuition fees remain reasonable,' she said.

Factors cited by primary schools looking to raise fees included staff salary adjustments, the purchase of teaching materials and tools, and rises in rent.

'After considering factors like inflation, we will finish the processing of the applications as soon as possible and inform the school of the results,' the spokeswoman said.