Education In Hong Kong

The educational system of Hong Kong is largely based on the educational system of the United Kingdom. It consists of both a public and private sector, being overseen by the Social Welfare Department and the Education Bureau. The educational system is generally organized as:


Primary and secondary education

Tertiary and higher education

Below the primary level, schools in Hong Kong consist of day care centres and kindergartens; however, from the primary level and onwards, six main types of schools can be identified within the educational system of Hong Kong. These six types are as follows:

• Government schools – these are the basic schools of the educational system of Hong Kong. They are run by the government, and are naturally subjected to the limitations instructed by the Education Bureau – for example, in their curricula, medium of instruction, etc. They do not charge school fees, and enrol local students.

• Aided schools – these schools are mostly run by religious institutions and other charitable organizations. They are fully supported by the government in the form of government-funded subsidies. Similar to government schools, they follow the curricula instructed by the Education Bureau and enrol local students only.

DSS schools – under the government scheme introduced in 1991 – the Direct Subsidy Scheme – a type of school which features the advantages of both government and private schools was formed.

Under the scheme, there are both DSS primary schools and DSS secondary schools. These schools have a freedom in choosing the curricula, entrance requirements and school fees they charge; they also receive government-funded subsidies on an annual basis.

• ESF schools – founded under a scheme similar to that of the Direct Subsidy Scheme, ESF schools were founded under the English Schools Foundation in 1967. The schools under the ESF are of three types – primary, secondary and those catering to students with special needs. The objective of the ESF schools is to cater to students who are more fluent in English, and are unable to enter the local stream as a result.

• Private schools – these are profit-based private organizations. They are not supported by government schemes, relying solely on the fees they charge from students enrolled in their curricula. As they are free from any kind of government intervention, private schools hold the greatest amount of freedom with regards to the education and administration of the school.

• Caput schools – these are also private schools – however they are not profit-based. They also receive incentives from the government. However, in exchange for these subsidies, the Caput schools must enrol a number of students as dictated by the government.