No room in the class

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 04 April, 2012, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 04 April, 2012, 12:00am


The mainland authorities have pledged to work closely with the Hong Kong government to solve problems raised by mainlanders overloading the city's medical and education systems. But the Shenzhen government seems to be unwilling to co-operate.

Mainland parents whose children were born in Hong Kong are being turned down by public schools in Shenzhen, according to messages left on an educational forum site.

Shenzhen's education officials explained that public schools were only available for students registered in Shenzhen or other mainland provinces. They suggested the Hong Kong-born children apply for private schools.

This worries Hong Kong's educators. They fear more and more Hong Kong-born children, whose parents are mainlanders, will come to study here, since they are unable to afford the fees charged by private schools across the border.

Mak Tse How-ling, a member of the Hong Kong Teachers' Centre advisory management committee and the principal of St Monica's Anglo-Chinese Kindergarten (Wah Kwai), told local media that she thought these parents would send their children to study at schools in Hong Kong.

This would place huge pressure on local kindergartens and primary schools. The northern district is currently 4,000 short of Primary One places.

One northern district primary school principal said it was mainland policy not to accept students holding Hong Kong or Macau passports, but it had not been implemented strictly.

He feared Shenzhen's decision to fully implement the policy would cause a huge influx of students and put a strain on the already tight supply of primary school places.