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LCQ 14: Education for non-Chinese speaking students

    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 (May 24):


     Regarding education for non-Chinese speaking (NCS) students, will the Executive Authorities inform this Council:

(a) as the authorities have indicated that the three secondary schools which conventionally admit a larger number of NCS students have already put in place school-based curricula to assist their students in attaining the qualification of General Certificate of Secondary Education (Chinese), of the details of these curricula;

(b) as the authorities have indicated that they will identify one or two schools in each of the five electoral constituencies to offer better support for NCS students, of the details of the work to identify such schools; and

(c) of the details of the vocational training programmes in English offered by the authorities to NCS students?


Madam President,

(a) In order to facilitate integration of non-Chinese speaking (NCS) students into the local community and their long-term development in Hong Kong, the three secondary schools which traditionally admit a larger number of NCS students have in recent years started to develop their school-based Chinese Language curricula progressively at each grade level.  The development takes into account the diverse needs and abilities of their students and their specific school context.  One of the objectives of such curricula is to enable the students concerned to acquire, upon completion of secondary education, a suitable qualification in Chinese Language mainly for NCS persons, such as the General Certificate of Secondary Education (Chinese), according to their abilities.  The Chinese Language curriculum puts emphasis on developing the basic language skills of students (reading, writing, listening and speaking); enriching their knowledge about the Chinese culture and literature; developing thinking and independent learning skills; and cultivating positive moral values.  The school-based curricula developed by the three schools are also following this broad framework with adaptation according to the Chinese proficiency of the relevant cohorts of NCS students.  Currently, the curriculum in one of the secondary schools concerned has been developed up to the Secondary 4 level while those in the other two schools are being implemented at the junior secondary level.

(b) Recently, the Education and Manpower Bureau (EMB) has had preliminary discussion with non-government organisations and ethnic minority concern groups on how to select the ˇ§resource schoolsˇ¨ concerned.  The relevant arrangements will take into consideration the number of NCS students in individual electoral constituencies, the distribution of the selected primary and secondary schools in the electoral constituencies, the experience and performance of these schools in supporting NCS students, the number of NCS students they have admitted, etc.  Currently, the EMB is identifying suitable schools in each of the electoral constituencies, and will conduct detailed discussion with the schools concerned on the school-based support measures that may be required.  The purpose is to assist these ˇ§resource schoolsˇ¨ in developing their strengths and centralising resources to provide even better support for their NCS students, and to facilitate their professional sharing with other schools.  If everything goes smoothly, the relevant arrangements may start to be implemented within the 2006/07 school year at the earliest.

(c) The Vocational Training Council (VTC) has provided NCS school leavers with a number of professional training courses conducted in English.  In the 2005/06 school year, a one-year fundamental diploma course on tourism has been provided for 36 Secondary 5 NCS school leavers.  The VTC plans to increase the number of such learning modules and school places in the 2006/07 school year.  A series of long- and short-term courses covering beauty care, catering, construction services and computer animation will be provided for NCS school leavers at different academic levels.  In addition, the Construction Industry Training Authority has also offered vocational training courses conducted in English.

     For Career-oriented Curriculum (COC) piloting in secondary schools and the future Career-oriented Studies under the new senior secondary curriculum, some courses may be offered in English subject to demand.  Under the COC pilot scheme for the 2005/07 school years, six courses could have been offered in English but were not run eventually due to a lack of demand from the schools concerned.  As regards the 34 piloting courses for the 2006/08 school years, two courses will be offered in English only whereas 12 courses can be offered in English subject to demand.  So far four secondary schools have nominated some of their NCS students to take the COC courses, including those to be conducted in English.  In addition, to further widen the choices of courses for NCS students who have little problem communicating in Chinese orally but are only relatively weaker in reading/writing the language, we have requested the relevant institutions to consider supplementing the courses conducted primarily in Chinese with English reading materials/ assessment.

Ends/Wednesday, May 24, 2006
Issued at HKT 14:32