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Hong Kong schools struggling to teach Chinese to ethnic minority students, sparking calls for more government funding to tackle problem

By ITS Education Asia


SCMP recently published an article about how Hong Kong is struggling to teach Chinese to minority students. It is unfortunate to hear that only about 38 per cent of teachers say they are confident in teaching the subject to non-Chinese-speakers

The good news is that the government proposed allocating more money to schools with an intake of fewer than 10 non-Chinese speaking students, from HK$50,000 (US$6,410) annually per school to up to HK$300,000.

Kalina Tsang Ka-wai, director of Oxfam’s Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan programme, suggested the bureau establish a professional development model which required teachers of non-Chinese-speaking pupils to complete mandatory basic and advanced training.

“The teaching methods for Chinese-speaking students and non-Chinese-speaking ones are rather different. Teachers who have completed relevant training courses can be equipped with more efficient ways to teach students,” Tsang said.

She said more non-Chinese-speaking children should attend local kindergartens as most principals reflected that those pupils who did not do so encountered the greatest difficulty in adapting to the mainstream curriculum.

Ferrick Chu Chung-man, the Equal Opportunities Commission’s acting Chief Operations Officer, said the commission had been pushing the government to do more for non-Chinese-speaking pupils but admitted it took time for policies to be realised, adding that the survey results were submitted to the bureau last week.

If you feel that your child could benefit with Chinese tuition, here at ITS all our Chinese teachers have years of experience with international qualifications. For a free consultation contact us at [email protected], or call us at 2116-3916.


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