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Ethnic minorities in Hong Kong

Hong Kong’s ethnic minority parents have access to more school information than before

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 14 June, 2018, 4:32pm
UPDATED : Thursday, 14 June, 2018, 10:41pm

I refer to the letter from Phyllis Cheung of Hong Kong Unison (“Hong Kong’s ethnic minority parents are battling information gap on schools”, June 7).

The Hong Kong government is committed to encouraging and supporting the early integration of non-Chinese-speaking students into the community, including facilitating their adaptation to the local education system and mastery of the Chinese language. The Education Bureau has stepped up support for non-Chinese-speaking students from the 2014/15 school year, to facilitate their effective learning of the Chinese language and the creation of an inclusive learning environment in schools.

We encourage parents of non-Chinese-speaking students to arrange for their children to study in schools with an immersive Chinese-language environment as early as possible.

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To assist such parents in choosing schools, information on school admissions is published in English and the major ethnic minority languages, as well as in Chinese. Dedicated briefing sessions with simultaneous interpretation services are held for parents of non-Chinese-speakers.

The bureau also encourages schools to invite parents to visit their premises to learn more about the schools before making their choices.

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We appreciate that parents of non-Chinese-speaking students are eager to have more information on schools. With the distribution of the English version of the school profiles to parents with children at Kindergarten Three and Primary Six levels, starting from the 2015/16 school year, parents of non-Chinese-speakers now have access to basic information on schools in their district.

After a review of the content of the school profiles, which was conducted by the Committee on Home-School Cooperation in March this year, a separate column on “Education support for non-Chinese-speaking students” will be added to the school profiles to be distributed in the 2018/19 school year.

Schools provided with additional funding for admitting 10 or more non-Chinese-speaking students will specify in this new column that additional support is provided for such students.

Besides, all schools are encouraged to provide more details of their school-based support for parents’ reference.

We will continue to advise schools to provide relevant and latest information in both Chinese and English in their school profiles and/or school websites, so as to enhance parents’ sunderstanding of the schools.

Choi Ho-pun, principal education officer (Education Commission and Planning), Education Bureau