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Understanding Pre School Education in Hong Kong

Introduction to Kindergarten

Kindergarten education of Hong Kong is all about nurturing children between the ages of three to six years in such a way that enables them to attain an all round development in the field of ethics, intellect, physique, social skills and aesthetics. Kindergarten education will help the children to develop good habits that will prepare them for file. It is a way of stimulating children’s interest in learning and cultivate in them positive learning attitudes. Kindergarten education lays down the foundation of the future education and learning of children.

Kindergarten is divided into three parts

  • Upper Kindergarten
  • Lower Kindergarten
  • Nursery Classes

Some classes are operative for half day while some are operative for full day.

Present Conditions

  • All kindergartens in Hong Kong are registered under the Education Ordinance. They are run privately. They can further be categorized into non-profit making (NPM) KGs and private independent (PI) KGs.
  • Every kindergarten class is regularly visited by officers from the Ordinance to interact with the principals and teachers.
  • The number of classrooms can range from two to over ten. They can also have separate activity centers for children that may include reading corner, arts and crafts corner, home corner etc.
  • Under the Kindergarten and Child care Centre fee remission scheme every child in Hong King can apply for fee assistance irrespective of their nationalities. They have to be less than six years to apply for the scheme.

Curriculum

The curriculum of the kindergarteners is based on “Child- Centeredness” to promote the foundation for lifelong learning and an overall personality development. The basic principles included are “Children’s development” and “Children’s learning”. Knowledge, skills and attitude are the three factors that are kept in mind while framing and teaching the curriculum to the children.

There are four developmental objectives:

  • Physical Development
  • Affective and Social Development
  • Aesthetic Development
  • Cognitive and Language development

They are achieved through

  • Physical Fitness and training
  • Language
  • Early Mathematics
  • Science and Technology
  • Self and Society
  • Arts

Teacher Qualifications and Statutory Requirements

All kindergarten teachers are required

  • To have five passes, including both Chinese and English in the Hong Kong Certificate of Education Examination (HKCEE) / Hong Kong Diploma of Secondary Education Examination in not more than two sittings
  • To possess a Qualified Kindergarten Teacher [QKT] qualification or its equivalent
  • To attain the teacher-to-pupil ratio at 1:15 or lower

All principals should

  • Have a degree in ECE [BEd(ECE)], one-year post-qualification experience
  • Have completed a recognized certificate course on principal ship, before, or exceptionally within the first year of, their appointment

Integrated Programme for Mildly Disabled Children

Integrated Programmes provide intensive training and care to mildly disabled children aged 3-6. This prepares the children better for mainstream education in future.

Primary One Admission System

  • The Primary One Admission System is for children who have reached the age of 5 years and 8 months or are older and haven’t been admitted to a primary school yet.
  • The system minimizes pressure imposed on young children as a result of intense competition.
  • In this system after the parents have indicated their choices of the schools in order of preference the Education Bureau inputs the data into the computer. Based on the choices the school is assigned to the children.
  • All children joining the System will be offered admittance to primary one in a government or an aided primary school.

Way Forward

Self Evaluation is an important part of education. To encourage children to self evaluate there has been enhancement of the Quality Assurance Framework by the Education Bureau. The new framework promotes development of quality kindergarten education of Hong Kong.

Photo credit: Pixabay CC0 Public Domain

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