The Zubin Foundation

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Landscape Study: Primary School Education for Non-Chinese Speaking Children with Special Educational Needs in Hong Kong

The Zubin Foundation, with generous support from the Firetree Asia Foundation Hong Kong Limited and the Peter Bennett Foundation, is conducting a landscape study of primary school education for Non-Chinese Speaking Children (NCS) with Special Educational Needs (SEN).

 

Complete the parent survey now: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/TZF-NCSSEN

 

Background

Hong Kong has an ethnic minority population of about 3%, excluding Foreign Domestic Helpers. This population is largely non-Chinese speaking and for most, Hong Kong is home. Most of the non-Chinese speaking (NCS) families in Hong Kong fall under the definition of “ethnic minorities”. Ethnic minority children are amongst the most marginalized groups in Hong Kong, with one third in poverty, have a higher Form 5 school drop out rate and a lower university admission rate compared to their Chinese counterparts and a higher crime rate. Perhaps more distressing is that 57% of ethnic minorities with special education needs (SEN) drop out of school between primary and secondary levels. Those who are NCS and have SEN are a minority group within a minority group and have historically been ignored by the education system in Hong Kong.

 

Our Project

The Zubin Foundation is conducting an in-depth research project on this gap in the current education system for non-Chinese speaking SEN children and their parents. The study will culminate with a comprehensive report that seeks to understand the breadth of issues faced by families with NCS SEN children and gaps in the current provision of education.

The study will involve parents, kindergartens, primary schools (government, subsidised and international), special schools, local charities and NGO’s working with the NCS and/or SEN communities, and government departments including the Education Bureau and Social Welfare Department.

This research would serve as an important resource not only for non-Chinese speaking Hong Kong families with SEN children – who struggle on a daily basis to find information but also for the Government and policy makers, NGOs, schools and philanthropists in their work on this community.

 

Objectives

It is hoped that the research will:

  • Serve as an important resource for non-Chinese speaking Hong Kong families with children with SEN – who struggle on a daily basis to find information about appropriate education.
  • To give a voice to this non-Chinese speaking community and a platform for them to share their views.
  • Serve as an important resource for the government and policy makers, NGOs, schools and philanthropists in their work on this community.
  • Present policy and governmental recommendations based on our work done.
  • Draw attention to the needs of this community.
  • Be a catalyst for greater awareness of the plight of this community, which is disadvantaged in many ways.

 

Advisors and Supporting Organisations

The Zubin Foundation is proud to have parents, educational professionals and other organisations supporting this project. Their support and advice has been invaluable in preparing our survey/interview questions, and their shared experiences have helped frame key issues and formulate recommendations.

 

Parents

11 parents have met with us individually or in small groups as part of a parent task force. They are supporting this project by helping to preview the survey/interview questions and by sharing their personal experiences in detail. Together, they have NCS SEN children ranging in age from 3-12 years old who attend public and private kindergartens, primary schools and special schools.

  1. Parent 1 has a 7 year old child in an English-speaking special school.
  2. Parent 2 has a 7 year old child in a Chinese-speaking special school.
  3. Parent 3 has a 9 year old child in the Learning Support Class at an ESF primary school.
  4. Parent 4 has a 7 year old child, in the learning support class at a private primary school.
  5. Parent 5 has an 11 year old child in a Chinese-speaking local primary school.
  6. Parent 6 has a 12 year old child in a private primary school.
  7. Parent 7 has a 7 year old child in a Chinese-speaking special school.
  8. Parent 8 has a 7 year old child in a Chinese-speaking special school.
  9. Parent 9 has a 5 year old child in an English-speaking local upper-kindergarten class.
  10. Parent 10 has a 6 year old child in a Chinese-speaking local upper- kindergarten class.
  11. Parent 11 has an 8 year old child in a Chinese-speaking special school.

 

Educational Professionals & Supporting Organisations

Educational professionals and supporting organisations have met with us to help to preview the survey/interview questions and/or share their experiences of working with and supporting the NCS, SEN and/or NCS SEN communities. They are also helping us to connect with parents of NCS SEN children.

  1. Dr. Yvonne Becher (Head of Psychological Services, Child Development Centre)
  2. Dr. Jadis Blurton (Founder & Clinical Director of the Jadis Blurton Family Development Centre)
  3. Pushpa Gurung (Nepalese Women's Association)
  4. Nicki Holmes (Inclusion Team Leader, English Schools Foundation)
  5. Cheryl Raper (Owner & Managing Director of Sylvan Learning Centre)
  6. Faride Shroff (SENsational Consultancy)
  7. Professor Kenneth Kuen Fung Sin (Education University of HK, Department of Special Education and Counselling & Director Centre for Special Educational Needs and Inclusive Education)
  8. Dr. Rizwan Ullah (Pakistani Students Association Hong Kong)
  9. Niru Vishwanath (Ethnic Minorities Unit, Equal Opportunities Commission)
  10. Shirley Wan (SEN Project Manager, British Council)
  11. Virginia Wilson (Chief Executive, Child Development Centre)
  12. Maria Wong (former Principal of the Red Cross JFK School)
  13. Stella Wong (Executive Director, Watchdog)

 

More Information

If you would like more information about the project, would like your school to be included or would like to contribute in any way, please contact the project manager, Krishin Hotwani, krishin@zubinfoundation.org.

 

Complete the parent survey now: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/TZF-NCSSEN

 

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© 2017 The Zubin Mahtani Gidumal Foundation Limited (registered charity in Hong Kong - IR 91/12344)