HK secondary schools may admit mainland students
The government is considering a scheme to allow mainland students to attend secondary schools in Hong Kong, Permanent Secretary for Education and Manpower Fanny Law Chiu-fun revealed Thursday.
"Besides short-term exchange programmes, we also hope mainland students can attend secondary schools in Hong Kong in future," she said after delivering a speech on Hong Kong education.
The government is in talks with mainland authorities and the scheme may be implemented as early as 2005, she said.
The mainland students would only be able to enter direct subsidy or private schools and would receive no Hong Kong government subsidy, Law said.
Many issues are still undecided, including how many students a school could take.
"It is not just about education. The scheme involves immigration, security, resources and manpower issues," she said.
The plan to admit mainland secondary students was welcomed by some school sponsoring bodies, saying it would help resolve the problem of surplus teachers.
But some school principals showed reservations about the plan, pointing out that mainland students may have difficulty adapting to Cantonese and traditional Chinese characters.
Law said she hoped the surplus teachers could find permanent posts during the summer holiday.
"There are over 300 school vacancies for 200 surplus teachers. Theoretically all of them could find jobs, though there could be a mismatch of subjects," she said.
"The surplus teachers can also work as substitute teachers so they will not be out of job."