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Have you considered going back to your home country due to HK Education System?

  1. #1
    bruhildda is offline Registered User
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    Unhappy Have you considered going back to your home country due to HK Education System?

    I'm in panic-mode and I hope someone could help me. My son is turning 2 tomorrow and as per my friends advice I should start searching for KG. I did a lot of research and realized that I am somehow late as some schools application forms have already been out and distribution is now finished.

    Well, I am just familiarizing myself with the HK Education system and now I need to choose a KG. Talk about panic... it's driving me crazy!

    First, we are a Filipino Family (I run our family-business and hubby is an engineer, both of us dont speak Cantonese). We can't afford International schools and is really hesitant about local schools as we are worried that we can't support our son academically because of language barrier but we also accepted the fact that we can't send our son to IS so basically, we have no choice but local schools :-(

    I am aware that it is very difficult to get into 'good' local schools and with no Chinese skills so we wont even bother trying. But of course, we don't want to send our son to a 'low-quality' local school. Our expectations are not too high but just realistic, we wont aim for the top ones but not the worst one either. Is there anyone out there who could direct me to a website/publication with reviews of local schools?

    And of course, after the daunting task of sending application forms to chosen KGs comes the interview.....

    I personally believe that interviewing 2y.olds is absolutely crazy but I am in HK and have to conform with what is the norm here. I have read that common questions during interviews are name, family members, body parts, shapes, fruits, animals, etc....

    But... my son.... could not even properly talk yet and interviews are scheduled from now-feb2010.... Any tips or could moms who experienced this share their experiences please.

    Sorry, for the long post... I am really worried about the whole system here that I am even contemplating going back to the Philippines. We are Permanent Residents and hubby believes that it's important for my son to learn Chinese. I understand that too but I'd rather send him to the best schools in Philippines and be able to share the happiness of learning with him than sending him to a so-so local school in HK and he will spend his school years catching up with his classmates chinese skills, receive little help from his parents and possibly feel inferior for the rest of his school life.

  2. #2
    carang's Avatar
    carang is offline Registered User
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    i'm canadian and my hubby is local. currently, my children speak 99% english at home. we live in sai kung and my son (4.5) goes to a local kindergarten. we are VERY happy with it. they have quite a few foreigners/mixed kids in the class. all of the notices come home in either english or chinese. we've not had a single problem with communication at all. we applied for the gov't voucher and 1/2 day school costs only $60/MONTH! our son is now in full day, so that he can improve his chinese. we pay $999/MONTH, that INCLUDES lunch!

    we have really struggled with what to do. going to canada is just not a viable option for us at the moment. we had a very difficult time deciding between Int'l/ESF/local. we have finally decided to try for a local primary school in sai kung. we did a tour of the school and found that 1/3 of the children in P1 are mixed or foreign. there are only 39 kids in P1 and they have split it into 2 classes. i'm quite happy with this. we will try it for a year or two and see how it goes. i'm sure the teachers will quickly figure out that you are not chinese and your child may need help to do homework. you may have to find a chinese tutor to come and help for an hour or two per day.

    if you start your little one in a chinese kindergarten, he will only be playing "catch up" for a year or two at the most. it is NOT a big deal. by the time he gets to primary school, chinese language skills should be fairly well established. i, personally, agree with your husband. two languages will open so many more doors to him... think of the long-term, future of your son...

    i believe that china is going to be playing a HUGE role in the future of the world... chinese skills will only help your son's future...not hinder it.

  3. #3
    Shenzhennifer is offline Registered User
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    Good thread topic. Though my son is only 9 months, I still can`t help to think ahead. We`re a Canadian-Japanese family and cannot afford private schools for my son. We`re not interested for him to go to local school because of the language issue. Therefore, by the time our son is of schooling age, we won`t be living here. I`d like to live in Canada for that reason, because I know it`s quality education, with no extra cost. But we`ll see. Just don`t think we`ll stay in HK for this reason.

  4. #4
    reei is offline Registered User
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    i am quite okay with the education system in hk. yes, i agree that it is crazy to interview a 2 year old , but then , dont worry about it. my nephew refuse to speak a word in the interview and he still got in the kindergarten, so i guess it depends on your luck too. i just shortlisted a few kindergartens in my area and apply for them.. i guess she'll be able to get in at least one,, then, just apply for local primary school nearby. it is not the best / famous schools in hk, but not the worse too.. just average.. should be fine, after all , academic achievements do not necessarily determine success in life..

  5. #5
    mscheerful is offline Registered User
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    My friends are Filipino and they have been here a long time but the wife don't speak Chinese. Their daughter is now 10. They have no hesitant to send their daughter to local kindergarten and they ignored lots of people's advise of makign the fuss and hassle to search for kinddy when she was little. they don't even send her to any playgroup. she can't speak well when she started kinddy let alone in Contonese and in local kinddy. they just sent her and in just a month, she was teaching her parents, granny and yayah in Contonese. She is now 10 in local english school. speaks English, Cantonese, Mandarin, speaks tagalog really well and also her mom's native dialect, cebuano (?). She did so well and last year, she was top 10 in her grade.

    We are also almost starting to apply kindergarten to our son this year for next year's enrollment, we have never consider any international kinder/school and it will be just within our catchment area although some parents are advising us to send to some 'famous' kinders so he will be easy to go in Primary. We are parents who have all check-ups and giving birth and injections and now kindergarten in local system and we are very happy - stress free just like my friend. I have been accompany kids to interviews and if you teach your child the motor skills and answer some basic questions like different colors, how old are you, where do u live... if you have been talking and teaching your kid now, i am sure she/he will PASS it with flying color! just like my friend's kid, she was like a 'dumb' child but she always has been smart and alert, the kindergarten just took her in and she was a real star for 3 years!

    I would say it is not really as stressful as some of your friends has told you.
    Last edited by mscheerful; 10-12-2009 at 02:39 PM.

  6. #6
    gladyswly's Avatar
    gladyswly is offline Registered User
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    carang, just wonder, cuz I was looking into the education voucher thing the other day too, but I found out you have to make very little in order to be subsidized from the government. As I read on the internet, there is a formula to calculate your amount of subsidy, if the total household income exceeds $223,188 you are not entitled to any sponsorship at all. I want to apply the voucher too but how?

  7. #7
    carang's Avatar
    carang is offline Registered User
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    the education voucher i'm referring to is for kindergarten only. not primary....is that the same one?

    http://www.edb.gov.hk/FileManager/EN...10e_base_6.pdf


    this says nothing about income of parents:

    "Who will be eligible for applying for PEVS in the 2009/10 school year?
    Student-applicants must be:
    (a) Hong Kong residents with right of abode, right to land or valid
    permission to remain without any conditions of stay (other than limit of
    stay) in Hong Kong; and
    (b) Born on or before 31 December 2006.

    Application is open to students who will attend kindergarten classes in the
    2009/10 school year. Students who have already been issued with the
    Certificate of Eligibility (CE) for PEVS need not apply again.

    If children currently benefiting from the Child Care Centre Fee Assistance Scheme (CCCFAS) of Social Welfare Department (SWD) choose to join PEVS, they will no longer be eligible for assistance under CCCFAS.

    From the 2009/10 school year onwards, all parents on Comprehensive Social Security Assistance (CSSA) with children at the age appropriate for pre-primary education, like other parents with pre-primary children, are
    required to submit applications to the Student Financial Assistance Agency (SFAA) for the PEVS in order to receive the relevant fee subsidy, if they have not been issued with the Certificate of Eligibility for the PEVS. If financial assistance on top of the subsidy from the voucher is required, they should approach the SWD for additional assistance under the CSSA Scheme. They will no longer be required to apply separately to the SFAA for fee remission under the Kindergarten and Child Care Centre Fee Remission Scheme.

    CSSA children who have been issued Certificates of Eligibility for the PEVS in the 2007/08 and 2008/09 school years will continue to receive fee subsidy throughout the validity period of the Certificate. However, from
    the 2009/10 school year onwards, if assistance on top of the subsidy provided by the voucher is required, they should approach the SWD for additional assistance under the CSSA Scheme.

    Enquiries about applications may be directed to the SFAA hotline at 2154 2130. Enquiries about applications for financial assistance for pre-primary education of CSSA children may be directed to the SWD hotline at 2343 2255."

    taken from:
    http://www.edb.gov.hk/FileManager/EN...28/q1(e)_2.pdf

  8. #8
    geomum is offline Registered User
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    Bruhildda aren't you considering ESF kindergarten for your child?

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