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LCQ 16: Education for the ethnic minority children


    Following is a question by the Hon Cheung Man-kwong and a written reply by the Secretary for Education and Manpower, Professor Arthur K C Li, in the Legislative Council today (July 6):


    Regarding education for the ethnic minorities, will the Government inform this Council of the following:

(a) the estimated number of school-age ethnic minorities in each of the coming five years, with a breakdown by age groups;

(b) the respective numbers, in each of the past three years, of ethnic minorities attending schools (with a breakdown by learning stages), having completed a learning stage and having dropped out of school, and their respective percentages in the ethnic minority population of the relevant ages;

(c) the channels through which the Administration releases information about school enrolment to the ethnic minorities; and

(d) whether children of the ethnic minorities are eligible for assistance under the Kindergarten Fee Remission Scheme and Child Care Centre Fee Assistance Scheme; if so, of the relevant numbers of applications in the past three years and the amounts of assistance involved; if not, whether the Government will include these children in the Schemes to encourage them to receive pre-primary education?


Madam President,

    First of all, I would like to point out that people in the community may have different ideas as to who should be regarded as "ethnic minorities". For the Education and Manpower Bureau (EMB), ethnic minority children generally refer to South Asian (mainly Indian/Pakistani/Nepalese) children who are residing in Hong Kong. The replies should be read in this context.

(a) Our planning for schools is premised on our projection of the overall student population. Moreover, a child's racial origin/nationality does not affect his/her eligibility for school admission. The Administration, therefore, does not keep separate statistics on the number of school-age ethnic minority children for the coming five years.

(b) For the same reason as stated in (a), EMB does not keep the statistics referred to in part (b) of the question.

(c) The EMB, in collaboration with the Home Affairs Bureau (HAB), publishes leaflets in English and several ethnic minority languages on various education and support services available for ethnic minority children. The ethnic minorities may obtain such information leaflets from relevant non-governmental organisations, the EMB's Regional Education Offices and the Public Enquiry Service Centres of the Home Affairs Department. The HAB would also disseminate such information direct to the ethnic minority groups. In addition, information on education and placement services is available on the EMB's website for parents? easy access.

    For the arrangements for admission to Primary One and Secondary One, the EMB organises briefings and provides relevant materials in several ethnic minority languages to help ethnic minority parents better understand the allocation arrangements and the application procedures.

(d) Under the existing Kindergarten Fee Remission Scheme and Child Care Centre Fee Assistance Scheme, all eligible applicants, including ethnic minority children, may apply for assistance. Since the racial origin/nationality does not affect the eligibility of the applicants, the Administration does not keep separate statistics on the applications from and the amounts of assistance for ethnic minority children.

Ends/Wednesday, July 6, 2005
Issued at HKT 14:00


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