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LCQ7: Education and vocational training for the ethnic minorities

    Following is a question by the Hon Yeung Sum and a written reply by the Secretary for the Civil Service, Miss Denise Yue (in the absence of the Secretary for Education) in the Legislative Council today (January 9):


     Regarding education and vocational training for the ethnic minorities, will the Government inform this Council of the following in the past 10 years:

(a)  the respective annual numbers of ethnic minority students studying at each level from Primary One to Secondary Four; and
(b)  the annual number of the ethnic minorities enrolled in courses offered by the Vocational Training Council, broken down by course type?



(a)  Before the 2006/07 school year, information on the ethnicity of students was not captured in the student statistics collected by the Education Bureau (EDB). In order to provide appropriate support services for students with a view to helping them attain all-round development, the EDB has, since the 2006/07 school year, started to collect information on students' ethnicity and spoken language at home through our annual Student Enrolment Survey.

     Different people may have different interpretation on who are to be regarded as "ethnic minorities". If "ethnic minorities" refer generally to the South Asian (mainly Indian, Pakistani and Nepalese) people residing in Hong Kong, according to the information submitted by schools in the relevant school years, the number of ethnic minority students studying at each level from Primary One to Secondary Four in government, aided, caput and Direct Subsidy Scheme schools in the 2006/07 and 2007/08 school years is set out below:

        Level       2006/07      2007/08
          P1         620          673
          P2         649          716
          P3         587          684
          P4         525          641
          P5         426          560
          P6         311          491
          S1         396          469
          S2         338          445
          S3         344          372
          S4         189          340

Note:  In furnishing the data, each student is required to use only one ethnicity code. The ethnic minority students covered in the above table may therefore include mix-raced students with one parent of Chinese or other ethnic origins.It is also noted that some schools have updated information submitted previously on the ethnicity of the same students when providing their returns for the survey in the 2007/08 school year. This may be due to unfamiliarity with the new survey item introduced only since last year. As such, the 2007/08 figures for a particular level, when compared with the 2006/07 figures for an immediate lower level, do not necessarily represent a real increase or decrease in the number of students for the 2007/08 school year.

(b) The Vocational Training Council (VTC) offers professional education and training programmes to eligible applicants, irrespective of their race and language spoken at home.  In general, course applicants are not required to indicate their ethnic origin.  Hence, the VTC does not have any comprehensive statistics on the number of ethnic minorities enrolling in its courses in the past 10 years.

     Nevertheless, to enhance support for the integration of ethnic minorities into the community, starting from the 2006/07 school year, apart from running the general courses, the VTC has also organised special courses for ethnic minority students.  Relevant course types and the respective enrolment are tabulated below:

 Course type                          2006/07
                                      School year
 Preparatory courses for trade test      42
 Full-time certificate/diploma          146
 courses in vocational studies                      
 Applied Learning courses                43
 Vocational Development Programme        65

     Note:  The duration of the above courses ranges from a few weeks to three years.  As the exact number of courses and enrolment will not be finalised until the end of a school year, we cannot provide the relevant figures for the 2007/08 school year at this stage.

Ends/Wednesday, January 9, 2008
Issued at HKT 14:36


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