Indian community in call for school
THE Indian community is calling for the establishment of a school in Hong Kong for students with a south Asian background.
It says the changes in the education system in the run-up to 1997 might hurt their children.
President of the Overseas Indian Organisation, Raj Sital, said while there were about 25,000 Indians in Hong Kong, only two schools offered Hindi and many of their children were studying in English-medium schools.
But with the introduction of the language grouping policy under which secondary schools will have to choose a language to suit the ability of students, Mr Sital was concerned more schools would teach in Chinese.
''But the Indian children's command of Chinese is not as good as their command of English,'' he said.
The organisation has put its request for an Indian school to the Education Department which said it would consider it.
Mr Sital said the organisation would conduct a survey on the issue among the Indians in Hong Kong.
Yau Tsim district board member Gary Ahuja agreed that there was a need for an Indian school in Hong Kong which could also be open to Pakistanis and Sri Lankans. The three ethnic groups formed a population of more than 100,000.
Mr Ahuja said the two schools which offered Hindi and Urdu as a second language - Li Cheng Uk Government Primary School in Shek Kip Mei and Sir Ellis Kadoorie (Soo Kun Po) School in Causeway Bay - were too far away for many of the Indians living in Tsim Sha Tsui.
He hoped the Government could grant a piece of land in the district for the building of an Indian school.
''I am ready to give $1 million from my pocket,'' Mr Ahuja said, adding he could also raise money from other people if the Government was willing to help.
Senior Education Officer, Cheng Man-yiu, said yesterday the department did not see the need for such a school at present, and even if the need was justified, the location might not be in Tsim Sha Tsui.