Kindergartens hit by staffing shortages
More than 80 per cent of kindergartens without government subsidies face staff shortages, leaving thousands of pupils without guarantees of proper care and education.
The Hong Kong Kindergarten Association said the problem would not be solved until the Government changed its funding policy and offered more courses to train teachers.
Wu Chiu-ha, chairman of the association, said she feared many kindergartens would close if they continued to fail to recruit qualified teachers.
She said her school, for instance, saw about one-third of teachers leave this summer. She was still searching for three teachers although her school re-opened for the new academic year last week.
'This is not only a problem in my school. I believe more than 80 per cent of independent kindergartens face this problem,' she said.
'We are not under government subsidy. So we cannot set a very high salary to attract teachers.' The Education Department subsidises, to the tune of $790 per pupil per year, non-profit-making kindergartens which charge fees not exceeding $11,700 per pupil per year.
Ms Wu said many teachers preferred working in government-funded schools because of higher salaries and a more stable future.