This sort of sums it up for me.
I know a few folks who got their kids educated in Chinese and them moved them to either boarding back home or to International schools - as that was deemed to be more appropriate to prepare them for further education overseas. They all had the option when they did that. Not sure how much of an option it is for those who find the fees a bit too expensive.It is telling that none of our informants’ children ever made it to CMI secondary schools. In 2016, there were only some 55 recorded cases of white children attending Year 6 of primary school, according to a report compiled by Puja Kapai at the Centre for Comparative and Public Law at the University of Hong Kong.
I'm confused about English medium of instruction schools- are there both primary and secondary schools that are EMI? I saw one school in Happy Valley that someone posted about and was for integrating non-Chinese speakers by being bilingual English-Chinese. I looked on EDB website but couldn't figure it out. No need for me, just curious.
This is one of them:
Diocesan Boys' School
This really highlights how the government is failing in education.
You have locals busting down the doors of international schools as a way to escape the local system. In most cities, international schools are for the children of expats/nationals of those countries to get an education so they can integrate back to their home. Here in HK it's just another option where if you throw $$$ at it you can have it.
So the fees for international schools are skyrocketing, and they have more people wanting to pay than seats for bums. Result being that they then price out a portion of genuine foreigners, who have been brought to HK to teacher local children English or fly airplanes or whatever skill set is missing here. But they don't make any provision for the children of those foreigners to get an education.
Those who genuinely can't afford international school or overseas, are genuinely screwed. If generations of South Asians who have lived here still struggle to get their children fully fluent and literate in Cantonese, I don't think other foreigners are going to find it a walk in the park. I wonder how successful a child who is at the bottom of their class in local school (due to their struggles with language), is going to be applying to a decent university in Europe or North America. Hence why @shri notices how few of them continue this experiment into secondary.
I knew about places like DBS (mainly because my business partner went there) but it seems there are "lesser schools" (I think pretty hard to get into DBS) that, for example, not well-connected South Asians end up in, not necessarily by choice? It seems these EMI schools are alluded to when articles talk about "second class schooling" for non-Chinese speakers in HK.
The school in Happy Valley I noticed had many Indian, Nepalese, and Filipino children (was a Buddhist school and they posted the children's work with their full names so could tell the nationality from the name...). Just seemed like there should be more bilingual schools, boost Cantonese-speakers' knowledge of English and English speakers' knowledge of Cantonese... They posted primary 6 Cantonese essays and my coworkers said they were decent. Maybe not native but they could clearly write a lot of characters...
Po Kok Primary School
Part of the Ho Tung legacy in HK. They've done more than their fair share for HK in terms of education. Not sure how much they still contribute to that school.
The Kadoorie family also have a named school or two in Kowloon which has similar (may be less emphasis on Chinese, I don't know) demographics.
Yes, that one- are there more of that kind of school? That would be where I would want to send my daughter if I had a primary-school-aged child...