School selection needs homework
The Education Bureau provides a list of government, aided or direct subsidy schools it recommends to families with non-Cantonese-speaking children (www.edb.gov.hk). However, parents need to do sufficient research in order to find one that suits their needs.
While English is often the focus for a lot of people, there are schools on the list that cater for families who speak other languages. For example, Hindi, Urdu, Nepali or Tagalog.
While fees for primary and secondary schools range from less than HK$10,000 to HK$60,000 per year, there are other important issues to be considered, such as location.
As most government-funded schools are aimed at Chinese-speaking families, there are also issues that parents of non-Chinese-speaking children need to consider, including the type of curriculum, teaching method and the school's approach to behaviour management.
The teaching method in most local schools is based on using textbooks, a large volume of additional worksheets, examination preparation and teacher-directed learning activities with most teachers speaking through a microphone which can be discomforting for some students.
Getting a sense of how welcoming a school may be to non-Chinese-speaking children indicates how flexible the school will be in catering to specific needs. At an inflexible school a lot of friction can develop when values are not taken into account or simply dismissed.