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LCQ19: Education of students of the ethnic minorities

    Following is a question by the Hon Emily Lau and a written reply by the Secretary for Education and Manpower, Professor Arthur K C Li, in the Legislative Council today (November 23):

Question :

     Regarding the education of students of the ethnic minorities, will the Executive Authorities inform this Council:

(a) in each of the past ten years, of the number of students of the ethnic minorities who:

    (i) sat for the Hong Kong Certificate of Education Examination, together with their passing rates for Chinese Language, English Language and Mathematics; and

    (ii) furthered their studies in matriculation courses; and

(b) whether specific measures are in place to help students of the ethnic minorities to learn Chinese; if so, of the effectiveness of such measures; if not, the reasons for that?

Reply :

Madam President,

     Our response to the questions raised regarding the education of students of the ethnic minorities is presented below :

(a) Applicants registering for the Hong Kong Certificate of Education Examination (HKCEE) are not required to submit information on their racial origin/nationality. The EMB, therefore, does not have statistics on the number of students of the ethnic minorities taking part in the HKCEE and their passing rates for Chinese Language, English Language and Mathematics. Nor do we have information on the number of these students furthering their studies in matriculation courses, as a student's racial origin/nationality does not affect his/her eligibility for such courses.

(b) The EMB collaborates with teachers and provides schools with a wide range of supporting services to help students of ethnic minorities to learn Chinese.  Some specific measures include: (1) To assist schools in developing school-based learning materials and adjusting the teaching and learning progress so as to increase students' learning motivation and build up their confidence; (2) To promote professional development of teachers, help them understand the difficulties faced by these students so that they can develop flexible teaching strategies, introduce continuous assessment which could provide positive feedback to students' learning; (3) To assist schools to build up a school network and organize activities for teachers to share their successful teaching experience and teaching resources.

     The above measures have effectively helped students of ethnic minorities learn Chinese.  With better understanding about the learning needs of these students, schools can better design the curriculum and develop appropriate learning materials for them.  Schools can also arrange different programmes, such as pull-out programme on vocabulary building and Chinese Language tutorials to cater for the learning diversity of students and improve their language ability.  Some schools also create language-rich environment through organising peer support activities (e.g. Big Brother and Big Sister Scheme, Reading Ambassadors).  These programmes do not only help enhance the speaking and listening abilities of these students, build up their repertoire of Chinese words and accelerate the speed at which they learn new words, but also enhance their learning motivation and confidence.  As observed from school visits, students of ethnic minorities participated actively and spoke proactively in classes.  Some even showed that they loved learning Chinese and had participated actively in language learning activities.  Cultural integration within schools was also fostered.

Ends/Wednesday, November 23, 2005
Issued at HKT 14:01


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