We envision a future where all children in Hong Kong have equal opportunity to access quality education and realize their potential.
What is happening in Hong Kong’s Education?
According to the Census Statistics, there are 281K children living under the poverty line in Hong Kong (child poverty rate: 26.3%). Although the overall impression of Hong Kong’s education is well developed, education opportunities received by students across different economic backgrounds have huge discrepancies. Only 1 out of 10 students under the poverty line are admitted to university (versus 1 out of 2 in well-off families).
Students from disadvantaged backgrounds are usually clustered in the lowest banding schools. Close to 50 schools of this nature have zero university admission rate. With more renowned secondary schools switching to Direct Subsidy Scheme (DSS), expensive tuition fees deny underprivileged children the access to more resources and higher quality education. This creates huge social immobility and exacerbates the wide income gap in Hong Kong.
Difficulty in Attracting Talent for Education
Being a teacher was once a common dream amongst the brightest students, but recent decades reveal that this is no longer true. Living in an international financial center, an overwhelming majority of Hong Kong’s outstanding graduates opt for more lucrative careers like in business or finance. Admission results have proven that it is becoming more difficult to attract quality talent to consider teaching as a profession.
Besides the many teaching responsibilities, frontline teachers are also burdened with increasing school administrative work. Over 60% of surveyed teachers worked more than 50 hours per week and found their job excessively stressful, while over 70% of surveyed teachers said that they would not advise their children to pursue a teaching career. This reflected that the reward and compensation for teachers have been undervalued, decreasing the attractiveness of a teaching career.
Based on the feedback from our research, given that students have to choose their university program as early as 17, parents have the largest say in their career decisions. It is usually advised that students should opt for more conservative and promising careers like law, medicine or business regardless of whether or not these students have existing passion in education – which most do. Among the 40 undergraduate programs the University of Hong Kong is offering, education programs take up 2 places out of the 5 programs with the lowest admission results. However, only a few graduates with non-educational based degree opt for a teaching career.
SOCO Submission from the Hong Kong Underprivileged Children and NGOs to the United Nations Committee on the Rights of the Child HKIEd Study: Disparity in Higher Education Attainment is Widening Between Rich and Poor
香港文匯報: 文憑試缺學額 料 50 中學「零升大」
香港教師的壓力與快樂感 「香港教師的壓力與快樂感 香港教師的壓力與快樂感」問卷調查 University of Hong Kong Admission Office