Information Paper - Education for New Arrival Children


This paper provides an update on the provision of education and support services for new arrival children (NAC) from China.


2. At the Legislative Council Panel on Education meeting held on 17 January 1997, members were briefed on education and support services available for NAC. Such services (as summarised at Annex) will continue to be provided.

Developments since January 1997

New services to be introduced

English language self-learning package

3. The Education Department (ED) has developed an English Language Self-learning Package for Primary 1 to Primary 3 levels to assist NAC in learning the English language. Copies of the self-learning package will soon be distributed to all primary schools and non-governmental organisations offering Induction / English Extension Programmes for NAC.

Languages and Mathematics Tests for NAC

4. ED is constructing tests on the Chinese Language, English Language and Mathematics subjects to assist schools in assessing the standard of NAC for admission to Primary 1 to Secondary 3 levels. Simplified Chinese characters will be used in the Chinese Language and Mathematics tests. The tests for primary levels will be available for use before the end of the 1996/97 school year and those for Secondary 1 to 3 levels at the beginning of the 1997/98 school year. ED will develop similar tests at Secondary 4 level at a later stage.

School-Based Support Scheme

5. To help NAC already admitted into schools overcome academic and other difficulties, a school-based approach will be most effective. Starting from the 1997/98 school year, a school-based support scheme will be implemented, whereby a block grant will be given to public sector schools with an intake of NAC. The rate is $2,000 per NAC at primary level and $3,330 at secondary level. Schools can use this block grant to provide school-based services for NAC, such as organising tutorial classes / extra-curricular activities, developing specific teaching material and acquiring specific resource material. ED is working out the implementation details and will issue a school circular to explain the arrangements before the end of the 1996/97 school year. The implementation of the school-based programme will be monitored by ED through school visits and auditing the schools' accounts.

New services under consideration

Short-term courses

6. For NAC awaiting admission to schools, ED is exploring the possibility of operating short term courses for them. The idea is to help such NAC improve their academic standard and learning skills in a school setting and on a full-time basis pending admission to schools. ED will identify primary and secondary schools at convenient locations which have vacant classrooms to operate the proposed courses on a pilot basis.

Education opportunities for NAC aged above 15

7. At present, NAC may sit for the Hong Kong Certificate of Education Examination (HKCEE) as private candidates, if they have reached the age of 19 by 1 January in the year of the examination. Some people have suggested that NAC aged below 19 but who have evidence of having completed senior middle 3 in China should also be allowed to take HKCEE. After consideration, the School Examinations Board of the Hong Kong Examinations Authority has proposed that youngsters who have not sat for HKCEE before but who have attained certain qualifications, including NAC who have completed senior middle 3 and sat for the High School Certificate Examination in China, may apply to take HKCEE as private candidates with effect from 1998. This proposal will be considered by the Hong Kong Examinations Authority at its next meeting to be held on 25 April 1997.

Progress in the provision of existing services for NAC

Provision of school places

8. ED is closely monitoring the demand for school places arising from the increase of NAC with a view to providing more school places in time, if circumstances so warrant. Five primary schools will be completed in 1997-98 and another two in 1998-99. Nine secondary schools have also been included in the School Building Programme for completion by 1999/2000. It is estimated that another 7 secondary schools will be required between 2000/01 and 2001/02, and arrangements will be made to include these projects in the School Building Programme.

Placement assistance

9. Since December 1994, the District Education Offices (DEOs) have placed some 9,400 NAC aged 6-15 in public sector schools. Of these, 2,020 have been placed in schools in the 1996/97 school year up to February 1997.

Induction / English Extension Programmes

10. The Induction / Extension programmes have been well received by NAC as evidenced by the increase in enrolment from 1995/96 to 1996/97:

Induction Programme3,4068,856
Extension Programme1,4355,447

In the 1997/98 financial year, a sum of $20.57 million has been earmarked for running the Induction and English Extension Programmes. It is estimated that 770 classes of Induction and 520 classes of English Extension Programmes will be operated to benefit 11,550 and 7,800 participants respectively.

11. In selecting the non-governmental organisations (NGOs) to operate the Induction / English Extension Programmes, ED takes into consideration the distribution of the centres for such programmes and must be satisfied that an organisation has had the experience in running short courses or activities for youths and suitable venues. The NGOs are required to submit evaluations by participants and course instructors shortly after a programme has been completed. ED also holds experience sharing sessions with the NGOs on a quarterly basis with a view to improving the programmes where necessary.

Concluding remark

12. The Education Department will continue to keep the education and support services for NAC under regular review to ensure that they meet the needs of such children.

Education Department
15 April 1997


A Summary of Education and Support Services for New Arrival Children

  1. District Education Officers arrange placement for new arrival children (NAC) into appropriate schools in the district where they are residing or in another district if there is no vacancy. They also monitor developments on cases. In August 1996, the Department issued a circular to urge schools to give favourable consideration to applications for school places in respect of NAC.

  2. Since April 1996, information leaflets with a pre-paid self-addressed reply slip, have been distributed at Lo Wu immigration checkpoints, District Education Offices and District Offices to encourage parents of NAC to seek assistance for their children's education. A Central Placement, set up in February 1996, provides assistance to parents based on their returns and, where necessary, handles difficult placement cases referred by District Education Offices.

  3. Since April 1995, a 60-hour Induction Programme has been operated by non-governmental organisations for new arrival children aged 6 to 15. The Programme covers both social adjustment and education aspects including Chinese and English languages learning and homework guidance.

  4. Since October 1995, a 60-hour English Extension Programme has been provided by non-governmental organisations for NAC aged 9 to 15 who have completed the Induction Programme to improve their standard of English.

  5. The Education Department has issued to all schools and non-governmental organisations running the Induction/English Extension Programmes curriculum guidelines on the subjects of Chinese Language, English Language and Mathematics, and a teacher's handbook entitled 'English Language for Children Arriving in Hong Kong from Various Parts of China'.

  6. The District Education Offices also provide placement assistance and information to NAC over the age of 15. Such NAC can also enrol in craft courses run by technical institutes of the Vocational Training Council or adult education courses run by the Education Department and non-governmental organisations. In September 1996, the Education Department lowered from 18 to 15 the admission age to courses offered by its Adult Education Section and non-governmental organisations.

  7. NAC with special education needs can use a wide range of support and remedial services in schools, including educational and personal guidance services, and remedial teaching in Chinese, English and Mathematics.

  8. For NAC who have more severe learning or adjustment difficulties, the Education Department provides a spectrum of intensive remedial services as well as other assessment and supportive services. Schools are informed of these services through a circular in August 1996.

    1. The Education Department has been publicising the educational services by radio announcements in both Cantonese and Putonghua.

      Education Department
      5 April 1997

      Last Updated on 14 August 1998