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Local or ESF school?

  1. #1
    donosti is offline Registered User
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    Local or ESF school?

    Suggestion needed.
    My husband and I are trying to decide whether to send our son to a local school or an ESF school? We both speak Spanish at home to him. I am from Spain and my husband is from the US so our son pretty much understands both languages.

    He is having some difficulties with his speech right now and I am wondering if a local school may be a little too much for him? I don’t want to make the experience of going to a new school more frustrating that it will already be.

    Anybody with a similar experience?

  2. #2
    Valencia is offline Registered User
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    In your case, since neither of you speak or write Chinese, the local schools will be a headache to you. We're a local family, so my child has no problem with a local school. Mind you, the local school system is an ever failure system, ever and after, esp after 1997. Type search on esf or local schools and you'll find a previous thread on this. Conclusion: most end up with esf or international schools.

  3. #3
    newbies is offline Registered User
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    Quote Originally Posted by Valencia
    ....Mind you, the local school system is an ever failure system, ever and after, esp after 1997. .
    Hi Valencia.
    Do you mind to elaborate a little more on this? We are from Singapore. But my daughter unable to speak neither putonghua/canto. Thought that Kiangsu Chekiang Putonghua school will be good for her. I have apply for Victoria also at the same time. Appreciate if you can give more pointers, since you are a local, to help me to make option.

  4. #4
    Valencia is offline Registered User
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    Hi, newbies,

    If you're from Singapore, then I don't think you'll have problems with HK's system. The general academic standard for HK's primary schools is 1-2 year slower than that of Singapore, you may find HK's schools and syllabuses easier than that of Singapore. Some English medium schools here like to use Singapore textbooks.

    The problem with HK's educational system is they keep experimenting and changing, and each time it's worse than before. Since 1997 they've been advocating using Chinese as a teaching medium. So they've forced some English medium secondary schools to change to Chinese medium schools. After some years they've realised the standard of English in HK has dropped enormously. Then they let those schools to change to English medium again. Some poor students have to repeat for 1 year because they've been studying in Chinese for 3 or 4 years and then change to English and have to sit for the HKCEE exam in English, which they are simply unable to do so.

    Some years ago, they've cancelled a P.6 assessment test. Now they want to introduce another one at P.3.

    So, on the safe side, if you're considering local schools, apply for English medium band one schools, the really prestigious ones, since the educational bureau will play a band merging/changing game soon.

    As for Victoria, I think it's one of those pushy kindies, hard to get in. You may get more information in Babykingdom.com.

    If you'd like to apply for local schools, be prepared to help with her Chinese homework, since only English and Science are in English even for English medium schools.
    Last edited by Valencia; 03-01-2006 at 05:45 PM.

  5. #5
    donosti is offline Registered User
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    Angry

    Thank you Valencia,

    Everything sounds very reasonable to me but my husband insists on sending him to a local school .... I dont really like the idea, specially because I won't be able to help him with any homework but he thinks our son will never learn cantonese or mandarin otherwise. Do you think going to a local kindergarden will take care of that? Will he learn enough mandarin or cantonese? Will teach any cantonese/mandarin on the ESF schools?
    We will be living in Hong Kong for a long time and it will be a shame if he leaves the country without learning the language.

    By the way, I am planning on taking cantopnese classes. Any suggestions on that?

  6. #6
    Valencia is offline Registered User
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    Donosti,

    A full day kindergarten with fewer students and a nice experienced teacher will take care of that, but it'll be a headache to you as many posters on this forum have experienced by the time your child goes to primary school. You won't like the local system either, 8 homeworks a day after full day school and revision, no time to play. You'll find the English standard of most local schools really low.

  7. #7
    newbies is offline Registered User
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    Valencia, I PM you, see if you can help in anyway. THanks a bunch!

  8. #8
    JLO9474 is offline Registered User
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    Hi Donosti

    I have 2 kids in ESF school (Shatin college), and another one going to shatin junior next year Primary 1. Esf schools main stream is in english (uk Curriculum) and mandarin (Primary and college too) .

    As for Year 7 onwards student also need to take an extra languague; Choose either one mandarin, french and Japanese.

    And year 8 (another extra language) choose either Mandarin , french, Spanish.

    My son choose mandarin and japanses; my daughter take french and Japanses.

    At first, I too have been wondering if I should send the kids to a local schools, but I do not read chinese at all, so it is very difficult for us. Because local chinese always have lots and lots of homework.(not exactly what I want for the kids)

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