Hong Kong people think there is only one way to educate local residents' mainland-born children: build more schools so as to make more school places available. But is this really the only way or, more important, the best way to educate mainland children? Can we be more imaginative in tackling the education problems of the tens of thousands of mainland-born children, such as by building schools on the mainland? Already, Hong Kong educationists are running elite schools on the southern Chinese mainland, and employing a Hong Kong syllabus for their kindergarten, primary- and secondary-school students. The schools' principal 'catchment' is Hong Kong residents' mainland-born children but they also have students from Hong Kong. Immigration staff at checkpoints should be fully aware that, for some time now, Hong Kong children have travelled across the border every day to go to schools in Shenzhen. One schoolmaster recently claimed his students had no problem adapting to the Hong Kong education environment once they were settled in Hong Kong. Instead, he said, Hong Kong students there had difficulty in catching up with subjects such as physics, mathematics and biology. In short, he was suggesting the quality of education there was equally good as, if not better than, that of Hong Kong. The concept of building schools designated for Hong Kong residents' mainland-born children across the border is worth exploring. Lack of education is a core problem of young mainland immigrants. Many, because of language difficulties or syllabus differences, have found it hard to adjust to the Hong Kong curriculum. If it can be proved that a better education on the mainland helps them adapt to Hong Kong, it will be less of a strain on Hong Kong teachers. If, because of the good quality of education across the border, they can be encouraged to stay studying on the mainland, it will also help reduce pressure on the administration to identify lands on which to build new schools to meet the demand. At the moment, these elite schools have yet to become a trend in the mainland because it is still a new concept and they are a lot more expensive than other schools provided by the mainland authorities. The easiest assistance, obviously, would be in the form of information about the syllabus and teaching materials. It is worth the Government's exploring whether it can liaise with educational authorities on the mainland if the private sector is interested in setting up schools with Hong Kong syllabuses across the border. Finally, it is also worth studying the possibility of the Government's joining hands with the private sector in Hong Kong, or even with the relevant authorities or institutions on the mainland to build these specially designed schools for mainland-born youngsters. At first glance, such a concept may seem infeasible. Many will say that all the mainland children want is to settle in Hong Kong and study here. But, given that Hong Kong children already travel across the border every day to attend school, such a concept is not completely novel. If some kind of financial subsidy could be provided either to these families or the schools so as to make the tuition fee more affordable for a wide spectrum of families, it might help encourage new immigrants to choose these schools. The concept may be new and entail a lot of technical problems, but the Government should keep an open mind. In the end, it is more likely to help the Government map out a better way of providing the necessary education for mainland-born children.