The government has not offered concrete measures to help minority children integrate into mainstream schools, minority rights advocates said yesterday after meeting Home Affairs Bureau officials. The rights groups have demanded more training for mainstream teachers in the needs of minority students. They also want an alternative Chinese language curriculum. But they said the government was non-committal. The meeting was attended by representatives from 30 concern groups. This year the Education and Manpower Bureau changed its school places-allocation policy to open mainstream schools to ethnic minorities. Before, minorities had fewer than 20 specialist primary and secondary schools available to them, all of which offered only limited Chinese language instruction. 'It's disappointing to see that the officials were still talking about the general principles which all parties had already agreed on a long time ago,' said Fermi Wong Wai-fun, director of Unison Hong Kong for Ethnic Equality. 'I hope that the Education and Manpower Bureau would not act only after problems come up in schools.' She urged the government to offer the GCSE Chinese curriculum - as international schools do - for minorities who had difficulties adapting to the local Chinese language curriculum. Minority children had been told by principals to go to another school because of their special needs, she said. Census statistics show that 6.1 per cent of non-Chinese aged between 19 to 24 remained in education, compared to 28 per cent of local Chinese in the same group. The bureau said there would be a four-week summer bridging programme to help minority children adapt to a Chinese learning environment. The bureau would also establish networks for schools to share their experiences in teaching minorities. Law Yuk-kai, director of Human Rights Monitor, said four weeks was not enough. However, Cherry Tse Ling Kit-ching, deputy secretary for Education and Manpower, told the groups at the meeting not to underestimate children's ability to adapt to a new language and environment at an early age.