• Fri
  • Jul 25, 2014
  • Updated: 10:31pm
My Take
PUBLISHED : Friday, 16 August, 2013, 12:00am
UPDATED : Friday, 16 August, 2013, 3:01am

Why not have Hong Kong schools in Shenzhen?

Our government loves international schools. So it's not clear why it doesn't jump at the idea of setting up our own schools on the mainland, that is, the equivalent of Hong Kong running its own "international" schools.

The idea was first floated by Michael Tien Puk-sun, a veteran political operator and a Hong Kong delegate to the National People's Congress. It will address the problem of children born in Hong Kong to a mainland parent or two who send them over the border to attend local schools.

This has created competition for school places in North district and forced some locals to attend out-of-district schools, another irritant that is causing growing resentment against mainlanders. The Ministry of Education is receptive to the idea. Shenzhen authorities are keen to study it. If they go ahead, such schools would indeed be like international schools because they would be categorised as "schools for foreigners" in Shenzhen. Such schools will also benefit Hong Kong children of Hong Kong parents living in Shenzhen. What's not to like?

In a reply, the bureau said: "The suggestion [involves] a complex topic and has deep-seated impact, so we must study it in great detail and with careful consideration." That's bureaucratic talk for saying we are not interested.

One concern is that the population of such children in Shenzhen and southern provinces will decline. Actually, it's more likely that they will rise. The border separating us will not be closed forever. In any case, what's wrong with operating international (Hong Kong) schools? Until recently, that was in fact the original definition of international schools in Hong Kong - a school that is funded by the government of its country and follows its national curriculums.

The government here is always encouraging others to open more international schools. Why not try it ourselves on the mainland? If they are well run, you never have to worry about not having students.

Of course, the people who actually run the bureau - and I don't mean our ever clueless Eddie Ng Hak-kim - are among the most conservative, retrograde and unresponsive bureaucrats in the government. They are averse to any plan that might challenge the existing system and status quo.

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This article is now closed to comments

Camel
Dear Alex. Who is going to pay for those schools? why not restricting schools only for residents living in HK?. (working in HK and paying taxes)
scmpgt
HK classes taught in Traditional Chinese on communist soil. That is a recipe for anti-harmonious society. Sorry try again.
lucifer
How will you teach all the forbidden subjects? This is a foolish idea, but coming from a pro-CCP stalwart, it can be expected.
We would not want our kids educated in CHian ebcause they will come home brainwashed. This is called forced assimilation.
chaz_hen
Actually, not a bad idea. And for all those super patriotic HKers that want their kids to have "national education", I'm sure it will be mandatory in Shenzhen!
johnyuan
Building Hong Kong schools in Shenzhen that is paid and administered by Hong Kong government albeit questionable if financially justifiable – lacking in revenue base, is a small but a beginning of an idea. I for one want the two cities make BIG PLAN. Shenzhen allows Hong Kong to move its border further north. Hong Kong would pay rent for the extra land and run the place according to Hong Kong law and economic system that generate tax and revenue. Hopefully, Hong Kong gets a new lease on life for its endless problems mostly about land shortage. Shenzhen may willing to do so knowing that statistically the ‘diminished’ part of Shenzhen will still inhabited by mostly Shenzhen citizens who are waiting to move to Hong Kong anyway. Hong Kong developers would jump to joy and sing that happy days are here again. The local Hong Kong people will sing too because new shopping malls will be built in the new area thus reducing mainlanders visiting the old part of the city. I shall not overlook that local school educators will be happy too – no new policy need to be implemented.
likingming
you have vision.
cfj
Like it or not, thanks to the government's seeming indifference and inertia, we are stuck with this continuing situation and need to make the best of it. If the plans for urban developments in the north-east NT are realized and include visa-free access for mainland residents with children holding HK birthrights, schools can be built to cater for these kids. Is there any choice - now ?
However, I'd suggest building multi-purpose buildings that allow community use if this trend is just a statistical 'baby bump' now that mainland mothers cannot give birth here (?)
jandajel
Why not just build more schools in the north district and transfer teachers from underutilized schools to them? This problem seems rather simple to solve, especially when everyone can see it coming in advance.
cfj
"when everyone can see it coming in advance"
Everyone except the HK Government, it would seem. Have any studies been commissioned by the HK Gov't and/or NGOs into what services are likely to be required and the cost ?
lucifer
The is forced assimilation into the Mainland in disguise. They know what the F is going on...

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