Although non-Chinese speaking children are encouraged to enroll in a public sector school – where the medium of instruction is primarily Chinese (Cantonese) with English taught as a core subject – in fact most attend an international private school.
Offering a curriculum based on the educational systems of Australia, Canada, France, German-Swiss, Japan, Korea, Singapore, the United Kingdom or the United States, many have also moved towards the International Baccalaureate program, as is the global trend.
Some schools offer bilingual studies as well in English/Chinese (Mandarin), German/English, French/English, Korean/English, and Japanese/English. The Hong Kong Government also operates three schools offering studies in Hindi, Urdu, and Chinese (Mandarin).
Education for non-Cantonese speaking children with special needs is somewhat limited by the fact that only one of the sixty-two special schools (a hospital school, one for those who are visually-impaired, hearing-impaired, physically handicapped, mentally handicapped or have adjustment problems) run by the Government is taught in English.
International school fees vary widely, with annual tuitions ranging between HK$ 61,000 and $185,000. Nearly every school also has its own building-funding capital scheme, which often takes the form of a one-off debenture loan (HK$ 200,000 to $2,000,000) or an annual capital levy (HK$7,500 to $45,000). In spite of the higher cost, many Hong Kong families nevertheless choose to attend an international school, and demand for placement is very high, especially at the entry-level.
HONG KONG GOVERNMENT – EDUCATION
Note: As schooling often determines whether a family will be able to relocate, schooling needs should be addressed as soon as a possible assignment has been suggested.
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