27 November 2021

Press release: Urgent Call for Action for Children who face the “Double Whammy” in Hong Kong Schools (Non-Chinese PLUS Special Needs)


Urgent Call for Action for:
Children who face the “Double Whammy” in Hong Kong Schools
(Non-Chinese PLUS Special Needs)

First-ever landscape study of primary education for NCS-SEN students highlights gaps
and recommendations in Hong Kong’s education

Hong Kong, 28 November 2017 — The Zubin Foundation, a leading social policy think-tank and registered charity, today launched Hong Kong’s first-ever landscape study examining issues facing non-Chinese-speaking (NCS) students with special education needs (SEN). With sponsorship from the Peter Bennett Foundation and Firetree Asia Foundation, the Landscape Study: Primary School Education for NonChinese-Speaking Children With Special Education Needs involved a total of 63 schools, 113 families and 17 NGOs as stakeholders.

The research was initiated by a shocking finding in the Foundation’s previous research, The Status of
Ethnic Minorities in Hong Kong, 1997–2014, which showed that among ethnic minority students with SEN, there was a 57% dropout rate from primary to secondary schools.

Shalini Mahtani, the Co-Founder of The Zubin Foundation, said: “We now understand the problems
faced by NCS families with SEN children. Although we believe that our NCS population should learn
Cantonese in the public schools, we do not believe that this should be the case for those with SEN
children; they should have a choice. Families, schools, and NGOs tell us that the NCS SEN children
face a ‘double whammy’ of both being unable to speak the language of the school as well as having a
disability. This is unfair.”

Please click here to read the full press release.