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LCQ8: Cross-boundary students

     Following is a question by the Hon Cheung Hok-ming and a written reply by the Secretary for Education, Mr Michael Suen, in the Legislative Council today (October 22):


     It has been reported that the number of students who cross the boundary to attend school every day from the Mainland to Hong Kong in this school year has increased substantially as compared to that of last year.  Moreover, as cross-boundary school buses have to carry students during specified periods, cross-boundary students taking these buses can neither attend tuition sessions nor participate in other extra-curricular activities, and therefore they are unable to experience a rich and colourful school life.  In this connection, will the Government inform this Council:

(a) of the respective numbers of cross-boundary students enrolled in kindergartens, primary schools and secondary schools in Hong Kong in this school year;

(b) of the current quota of cross-boundary coach granted by the authorities of Guangdong and Hong Kong to school buses, and whether they have assessed if the quota is sufficient to cope with the demand; and

(c) whether it will adopt measures to assist cross-boundary
students in solving the above problems and improve their quality of school life so that they can learn and grow up happily?



(a) Based on the information provided by schools, the number of cross-boundary students who are Hong Kong residents but are residing in Shenzhen and attending schools in Hong Kong at different levels in the current school year are as follows:

              Number of cross-boundary students

School year  Kindergarten  Primary  Secondary  Total
2008/09*       1,780        3,910    1,078     6,768

* The statistics are provided by schools in the districts of Tai Po, North District, Yuen Long and Tuen Mun.

(b) In late September this year, the Government for the first time issued 20 special quotas to service providers for operating cross-boundary school coach services.  These services have commenced operation. We will keep a close watch on students' actual demand for such services and will, if necessary, discuss with the Mainland authorities whether the special quotas may be increased.

(c) Education reform in recent years aims at enhancing the
effectiveness of teaching and creating a pleasurable environment for student learning and development.  The school life of cross-boundary students is no different from that of local students in that all students have equal access to the teaching resources and facilities in schools, and participate in class activities and extra-curricular activities.  However, some cross-boundary students may prefer not to stay behind for school activities because they have to travel long distances back home.  In view of this, schools have made necessary arrangements, such as scheduling counselling services before classes or during recesses, and, where suitable, advancing after-school activities to the after-lunch time slot. School coach service operators can arrange their schedules flexibly.  For example, they can make use of the "multi-time slot" measure introduced by the Government for the Lok Ma Chau Spur Line Public Transport Interchange to take cross-boundary students to and from their schools at flexible hours. Cross-boundary students may also choose from the trips provided by different operators according to the need of their schooling hours.

Ends/Wednesday, October 22, 2008
Issued at HKT 13:20


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