Education Opportunities for Non-Chinese Speaking Children in the Local School System

I have just read about a British family whose son attends Li Sing Tai Hang School in Causeway Bay.  (This school is one of 17 schools in Hong Kong which have admitted a critical mass of Non Chinese Speaking (NCS) students and have therefore been nominated as “designated NCS schools”). Li Sing Tai Hang School was described as “a friendly school with small class size (for example, 23 in a class) and dedicated, professional staff.”

Apart from the cost and ease of accessibility, the biggest advantage for the non-Chinese children studying in the local school system is the opportunity to learn Cantonese to a near native standard.

I think the majority of us are unaware that Hong Kong has a rising number of local schools that welcome non-Chinese speaking children in Hong Kong.

Most of these schools offer English as the medium of instruction and are a viable alternative to the more expensive international schools, especially for those expatriates whose companies will not cover the cost of education. I believe this is good news for non-Chinese speaking entrepreneurs and small business owners with school-age children in Hong Kong.

Application forms for the Primary One Admission Scheme are available from the Education Bureau in September for admission in the following academic year. NCS families are not constrained by the usual catchment area restrictions and the allocation is randomly drawn by computer.

If you have a particular school in mind, you can apply for Discretionary Place by submitting the application form directly to the school of your choice.

Details about Primary Education and the School Places allocation system can be found on the Education Bureau website and enquiries can also be made in person at any of the following:

Hong Kong Regional Education Office 53/F, Hopewell Centre, 183 Queen’s Road East, Wanchai, Hong Kong Tel: 28634646

Kowloon Regional Education Office Podium, East Block, EDB Kowloon Tong Education Services Centre Tel: 36984108

New Territories East Regional Education Office 22/F, Landmark North, 39 Lung Sum Avenue, Sheung Shui, N.T. Tel: 26394876

New Territories West Regional Education Office 19/F, Chinachem Tsuen Wan Plaza, 457 Castle Peak Road, Tsuen Wan, New Territories Tel: 24377272

Lastly, there is a leaflet entitled “Education for Non Chinese Speaking Children” which gives details of the designated NCS schools. Individual school profiles can also be reviewed at

Source: “Navigating the Local School System” (An Interview with Lisa Bowman) in the Britain in Hong Kong Magazine, July/August 2010 Issue.

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One Response to Education Opportunities for Non-Chinese Speaking Children in the Local School System

  1. mlbesbc says:

    This posting, I hope, will be useful to our members with kids who are ready to start primary education in the next academic year. Or if parents are thinking of changing from the international stream to the local stream of education, they might find the information useful. We hope this will motivate them to start researching into more possibilities. We posted this with Dr. Jose A Rueda and Brian Brown in mind.

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