10th October 2013
Chinese Parents Claim Their Children Being Discriminated
Education Bureau achieved consensus with kindergartens in North New Territories that all kindergartens will give priorities to children from the same district. A parent of Chinese anchor baby is furious after learning this new policy and claimed that his son is being discriminated. A kindergarten in Tuen Mun posted a notice on its door explaining that given the limited number of school spaces, it will not accept applications from other districts (including anchor babies). The picture of this notice was immediately circulated on social media and praising the school as a kindergarten with conscience.
According to the data provided by Education Bureau, cross-district students account for 41-48.9% in North NT, 13-17.9% in Tuen Mun and Yuen Long, 4-9% in Tai Po. Cross-district students take up approximately 50% of the total school spaces in whole of North New Territories.
The Bureau achieved a consensus with the kindergartens in Sheung Shui and Tai Po to implement “same district admission principle” meaning schools will give priority to children in the same district, in order to calm the fury of North NT parents, but the policy triggered the anger of parents of anchor babies.
Mr Liu, a parent of anchor baby, who went to Sheung Shui Fung Kai Kindergarten to queue for admission application form commented on the new policy, “why being resentful when there are lots of people (to get application forms)? Aren’t there a lot of people in Hong Kong too? ” He also thinks that anchor children are being discriminated and said that Hong Kong children should study in non local districts, “Sheung Shui to Fanling is only a short journey, Lo Wu to Sheung Shui is more difficult. I’m not saying that priority (given to anchor babies) is necessary but giving anchor babies the priority (to be admitted to school) is the best.”
A picture of the noticed posted at the door of Jing Jing Kindergarten in Tuen Mun which sasys “We only have limited school spaces. Please understand that we cannot accept applications from cross-district children” was circulated on social media yesterday. Over 7,000 people liked the picture on Facebook and the school is being complimented as “kindergarten with conscience”.
Ng Wai-ching, the principal of Jing Jing Kindergarten Tuen Mun, said that the school only admits 40 children for preschool a year, over 30 of them will go directly to the school’s K1 class the following year, so there is very limited spaces available. The school offers priorities to the siblings of its students first, then children of former students, and then children within the same district. She stressed that this is a practice the school has been adopting. She also said that they have already received over 300 application forms from the local district parents, and recommends parents of anchor babies to try the school’s Hung Shui Kiu branch which specialises in admitting cross-district students. She emphasised that the aim is to minimise the impact on children in terms of commute.