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Expression of interest invited for establishment of Mainland curriculum school
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     The Education Bureau (EDB) today (July 15) invited expression of interest (EoI) for the establishment of a non-profit making private school offering a Mainland curriculum on a greenfield site in Tin Shui Wai. The deadline is September 30, 2021.

     A spokesman for the bureau said, "Currently, there are over 50 international schools providing different non-local curricula, enabling children whose parents come to Hong Kong for work or investment to study in Hong Kong and then continue their studies in local schools upon return to their hometowns. Such schools play an instrumental role in attracting and retaining talent and investment from elsewhere.

     "In recent years, the Mainland has become our greatest source of direct external investment and, amongst companies from places outside Hong Kong, Mainland companies have set up the greatest number of regional headquarters/offices/local offices here. Notwithstanding our close ties with the Mainland, there is still no primary or secondary school offering the Mainland curriculum in Hong Kong. It is difficult for these children of Mainland families who have studied in Hong Kong for a few years to reintegrate into the Mainland education system when they choose to continue their studies on the Mainland. Given the vibrant development of the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area and Hong Kong's efforts to promote the interflow of talents with the Mainland, our demand for Mainland curriculum school places in Hong Kong is also expected to rise."

     Making reference to the prevailing arrangement for international school development, invitation of the EoI is the first step. Subject to the responses, the EDB will invite interested operators who have expressed interest and met the prescribed requirements to submit detailed proposals. The site in Tin Shui Wai (see Annex for relevant site information) will be allocated via the open and competitive bidding mechanism under the School Allocation Committee.

     During the EoI stage, applicants shall demonstrate that they possess proven experience and expertise in offering the Mainland curriculum at primary and/or secondary levels, undertake to offer 12 years of primary and secondary education ultimately, and put in place a mechanism to ensure the quality of the Mainland curriculum to be offered. The majority of the student population of the proposed school shall be non-local students.

     The proposed school and its school sponsoring body are required to be exempted from tax under section 88 of the Inland Revenue Ordinance (Cap. 112). The proposed school shall operate on a self-financing basis. The successful applicant is expected to carry out all the necessary technical assessments and measures at its own cost in connection with the use of the greenfield site, and fund any renovation and construction works required. The successful applicant will normally enjoy a nominal premium for the grant of the site. The Government may consider offering an interest-free capital loan for the school building on the greenfield site upon application, subject to approval from the Finance Committee of the Legislative Council.

     In selecting the most appropriate school operator, the EDB will take into account a host of factors including not only the experience and expertise of the operator in running the Mainland curriculum, but also whether it has a good organisation structure, a proper management mechanism and a sound financial footing as well as the quality of its school proposal.
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     Interested parties are reminded to read carefully the basic requirements and relevant instructions set out in the note to respondents before submitting the reply form, which is available at the EDB homepage (www.edb.gov.hk/en/sch-admin/sch-premises-info/allocation-of-sch/index.html). The completed reply form should be submitted to the Infrastructure and Research Support Division of the Education Bureau on or before September 30, 2021, by post (6/F, East Wing, Central Government Offices, 2 Tim Mei Avenue, Tamar, Hong Kong) (the postmark date should not be later than the deadline) or by email (irsd@edb.gov.hk).
 
Ends/Thursday, July 15, 2021
Issued at HKT 16:30
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