Equal Opportunities Commission


Press Releases

Press Releases

The EOC Calls for Prompt Action by the EDB to Provide Equal Educational Opportunities for Ethnic Minority Children at the Meeting of the Legislative Council Panel on Education


The Equal Opportunities Commission (EOC) called today (12 December 2011) for prompt and concrete action to address the issue of education for ethnic minority (EM) children at the Meeting of the Legislative Council Panel on Education. At the Meeting, the EOC reiterated its deep concerns about existing barriers to quality education faced by many ethnic minority children, which limit their personal, social, and career development over the long-term. (Please refer to Annex 1 for the EOC’s Submission to the Legislative Council Panel on Education on 12 December 2011)

“Many ethnic minority children from low-income families continue to face serious obstacles in their pursuit of equal educational opportunities, which stem primarily from the difficulties they face in learning Chinese,” said Mr. LAM Woon-kwong, the EOC Chairperson. “The system is not working now. We should not leave the EM children behind.”

“In light of this situation, the EOC’s Working Group on EM Education introduced its Report, with a set of recommendations for action, in July 2011. However, the response from the Education Bureau (EDB) has been vague and non-committal,” continued Mr. Lam. “Ethnic minorities have long been an essential part of Hong Kong’s social fabric, and the EM children’s multicultural outlook will play a positive role in this city’s future competitiveness in the era of rapid globalisation. The EDB’s failure to recognize the systemic challenges faced by EM children serves only to block these children’s development potential, to devastating effect. This is deeply disappointing and unacceptable.”

“The EOC calls on the EDB to promptly take steps to begin to address these problems. We continue to advocate three key and pragmatic objectives for priority action based on our original recommendations. These are the strengthening of pre-primary/junior primary language support, the development of an alternative curriculum/qualification assessment, and the need for an improved system to collect relevant data for the purposes of policy formulation and enhancement of support measures,” added Mr. Lam. (Please refer to Annex 2 for the full Report of the Working Group.)

“The EOC believes that these steps will contribute to leveling the playing field so that all children, regardless of their race, can enjoy and benefit from the empowering effects of education. Without such a commitment from the Government, this city will continue to squander its talent and many young people will remain deprived of their right to knowledge,” said Mr. Lam. “The EOC strongly urges the Government to follow through, with genuine action, its pledge to correct the learning gap and support all of Hong Kong’s children to reach their full potential. The Commission is ready to collaborate with the Government and other stakeholders towards this shared goal.”  


For media enquiries, please contact Mr. Sam HO at 2106-2187.
Equal Opportunities Commission
12 December 2011