共融校園 Integration in Schools
We observed that the student populations in some schools are becoming predominantly from ethnic minorities, and the phenomenon is culminating to the effect of racial segregation.
In many schools that have started to recruit ethnic minority students a few years ago, the Chinese-to-ethnic minority ratio in the upper forms is still quite evenly distributed. However, in the lower forms, the students are mostly from ethnic minorities, with only a handful of Chinese students in each grade. In a few years, it can be predicted that the entire student population in these schools would be predominantly from ethnic minorities.
These schools did not intend to become predominantly ethnic minority. However, many schools that have admitted a certain critical number of ethnic minority students have seen a departure of their Chinese student population. Over the years, these schools have been gradually deserted by Chinese parents when they find that their children may be outnumbered by students from ethnic minorities. Some Chinese students transfer schools, while other new Chinese students who have been allocated to the school decide not to enroll.
A racially integrated school environment is beneficial to students and the broader Hong Kong society. It is advantageous for ethnic minority students learning Chinese to be immersed in a Chinese-language environment. We have observed that ethnic minority students studying in racially segregated schools tend to have much lower Chinese language abilities.
Social connections and information exchange in school can also help ethnic minority students integrate into the mainstream Hong Kong society, and build bridges between the Chinese and the ethnic minority communities in Hong Kong. Racial segregation creates highly unbalanced school communities that do not reflect the reality of the Hong Kong society, and students who have grown up in these environments have a much harder time adjusting after graduation. Students in predominantly ethnic minority schools also tend to have access to less information about the broader Hong Kong society and the resources that are available to them.
Hong Kong Unison posits that the segregation of students on the grounds of race may constitute indirect racial discrimination based on the Race Discrimination Ordinance.
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