The EOC Launches Guidance Booklet on Racial Integration for Schools and Parents
Promoting equal educational opportunities for ethnic minorities in Hong Kong has long been a priority work area of the Equal Opportunities Commission (EOC). In keeping with this focus, the EOC has launched a new booklet for school administrators and staff as well as parents, titled “Promotion of Racial Integration and Prevention of Racial Discrimination in Schools”.
With a growing ethnic minority population in Hong Kong, more and more schools are finding themselves admitting non-Chinese students. In view of this, the EOC has launched the booklet to educate schools on the requirements of the Race Discrimination Ordinance and to provide practical guidelines on preventing violation of the law and promoting an integrated and inclusive school environment.
The booklet clarifies the various types of racial discrimination that can take place in an educational establishment, possible actions to be taken if discrimination occurs and liability for acts of unlawful discrimination. While preventing discrimination and harassment is essential, schools are also advised through helpful tips on taking steps to actively foster values of racial acceptance, mutual respect and cultural inclusion. Issues related to medium of instruction, admission process, accommodation for religious practices and communication with ethnic minority parents are covered in the booklet, with examples illustrated in the “Frequently Asked Questions” section, which are based on real cases that have been brought to the EOC’s attention.
The EOC Chairperson, Professor Alfred CHAN Cheung-ming, said, “The EOC firmly believes that ethnic minority students should get equal access to learning opportunities without any barriers, biases or disadvantages, and a multicultural and inclusive environment is beneficial to all students, majority or minority.”
“The EOC hopes that schools will use the booklet as a guide in initiating policies and practices that go towards creating a welcoming and integrated school environment for all students. We urge parents to refer to the booklet and take suggested measures to prevent and report acts of discrimination or harassment of their school-going children. The booklet aims to be a tool for all concerned parties towards the single aim of making schools and kindergartens places of equitable learning opportunities with barriers for none.”
Printed copies of the booklet will be distributed to all schools and kindergartens as well as other key stakeholders, and an online version is available on the EOC website (http://www.eoc.org.hk). The Education Bureau has also uploaded a link to the e-version on its website. In addition, briefing sessions will be organized by the EOC for school staff and parents in the new school year. Further details of the briefing sessions will be updated on the EOC website.
For media enquiries, please contact Mr. Sam HO at 2106-2187.
Equal Opportunities Commission
18 August 2016