Following is a question by the Hon Cheung Man-kwong and a written reply by the Secretary for Education and Manpower, Mr Joseph W P Wong, in the Legislative Council today (June 14):
Regarding schooling of ethnic Nepalese children and youths, will the Government inform this Council:
(a) of the number of school-age ethnic Nepalese children and youths residing in Hong Kong, and the number of those who are Hong Kong permanent residents;
(b) of the current situation in respect of the education of these school-age persons in Hong Kong; and
(c) whether it has plans, through setting up schools or other measures, to provide opportunities for all school-age Nepalese persons to receive basic education; if not, of the reasons for that?
(a) According to the statistics of the Immigration Department (Imm D), as at June 8, 2000 there are about 1660 school-age Nepalese children and youths (i.e. aged between six to 15) residing in Hong Kong. The Government does not keep separate statistics on how many of these 1660 individuals are Hong Kong permanent residents. However, according to the estimate of Imm D, about 80% of these 1 660 individuals are Hong Kong permanent residents and the rest are mainly dependants of Hong Kong residents. The latter will become Hong Kong permanent residents after having resided in Hong Kong for seven years.
(b) & (c) Under existing policy, all eligible local children, including Nepalese children (relevant eligibility criteria set out in Annex), may attend public sector schools (i.e. Government and aided schools) in Hong Kong. In addition, they may choose to attend other private or international schools. These children may request placement assistance from the Education Department (ED) whenever necessary.
To enable non-Chinese children residing in Hong Kong to integrate into the local community as soon as possible, the Government encourages them to attend public sector schools. Therefore, the Government does not have any plan to set up schools specifically for certain ethnic groups (including Nepalese).
We are conscious that non-Chinese school children may not be able to adapt to the local education system initially. Therefore, ED will, starting from the next school year, provide these school children with support services similar to those received by newly arrived children from the Mainland. ED will provide subventions to non-governmental organizations for running induction programmes to help non-Chinese children improve their proficiency in reading and writing Chinese. In addition, ED will provide a block grant to schools which admit these children. Schools may use this block grant to provide school-based support services, such as organising tutorial classes or developing special teaching materials, for their non-Chinese students.
Admission criteria of children to public sector schools in Hong Kong
Admission to public sector schools is restricted to children holding one of the following documents:
(a) Hong Kong Birth Certificate
(i) For birth registration effected before January 1, 1983, the birth certificate alone is sufficient proof of the holder's eligibility for admission to such schools;
(ii) For birth registration effected between January 1, 1983 and June 30, 1987, column 12 of their birth certificates.must indicate their Hong Kong belonger status as"Established";
(iii) For birth registration effected on or after July 1, 1987, column 12 or 11 of their birth certificates must indicate their Hong Kong permanent resident status as "Established";
(iv) Children whose Hong Kong belonger status or Hong Kong permanent resident status is shown as "Not established" in the birth certificate should have a Permit to Remain in Hong Kong - ID 235B or valid travel documents, with one of the endorsements listed in (c) below.
(b) Hong Kong Identity Card
A Hong Kong Identity Card issued on or after July 1, 1987 which does not bear the symbol 'C' (for conditional stay) at line 6. If the symbol 'C' is shown, the holder must have a valid travel document with one of the endorsements listed in (c) below;
(c) Travel Document
A valid travel document with any of the following endorsements:
(i) "Permitted to remain until (date) " (the date showing the stay in Hong Kong to be still valid at the time of admission to school);
(ii) "Permission to remain extended until (date) " (the date showing that the stay in Hong Kong to be still valid at the time of admission to school);
(iii) "The holder of this travel document has the right to land in Hong Kong. (Section 2AAA, Immigration Ordinance Cap. 115, Laws of Hong Kong)";
(iv) "The holder arrived Hong Kong on (date) and was permitted to land.";
(v) Permitted to stay with no condition attached;
(vi) "Previous conditions of stay are hereby cancelled"; or
(vii) "Holder's eligibility for Hong Kong permanent identity card verified".
End/Wednesday, June 14, 2000