Subsidy for non-Chinese speaking students expanded

Secretary for Education Eddie Ng says the Government will enhance the subsidy coverage for non-Chinese speaking students’ participation in Chinese language examinations to help them integrate into the community.


Speaking to the media today after an orientation programme for these students held by the Institute of Vocational Education, Mr Ng said the Government is committed to encouraging and supporting the early integration of these students into the community, including facilitating their adaptation to the local education system and mastering of Chinese.


At present the Government is subsidising the students’ participation in the General Certificate of Secondary Education (GCSE) Chinese Examination, but some students want to consider a more advanced test, for higher education and employment.


Mr Ng said the Government is going to add three more Chinese language examinations to the existing one – the IGCSE, GCE AS-Level, and GCE A-Level.


The fees for the three examinations range from $ 1,100 to $ 4,000. Under the new scheme, non-Chinese speaking students taking the tests will only be charged $ 540, the same as the Chinese language subject under the Diploma of Secondary Education.


For students in financial difficulty, the Government will take a further step to halve the examination fee payable, or waive it altogether.


“To do this, we will seek the approval of the Finance Committee upon commencement of the new Legislative Council session. We wish to ensure that students applying to sit for overseas Chinese language examinations in 2013 will benefit from this new initiative,” Mr Ng said.


On moral and national education, Mr Ng reiterated schools can decide whether to implement the subject, and when to launch it, adding that 80% of the subject’s curriculum is related to moral education, and the subject’s controversial part has already been withdrawn.

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