Education for ethnic minority young people in Hong Kong

What school factors make them unsuccessful?

Authored by: Miron Kumar Bhowmik , Ming-tak Hue

Routledge International Handbook of Schools and Schooling in Asia

Print publication date:  May  2018
Online publication date:  May  2018

Print ISBN: 9781138908499
eBook ISBN: 9781315694382
Adobe ISBN:


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This chapter explores school factors that contribute to ethnic minority young people failing in Hong Kong schools. It draws on a case study approach based on 15 in-depth interviews with 11 out-of-school ethnic minority young people: 6 were dropouts, 4 were at risk of dropping out and 1 never attended a school. The study was augmented with an additional 22 in-depth interviews with 20 other stakeholders related to ethnic minority education. These interviews provided a comprehensive understanding of schooling contexts for ethnic minority young people in Hong Kong. Several themes emerged through schema analysis that help to explain the school-related factors contributing to school failure. It has been common to attribute school failure of ethnic minority students in Hong Kong to problems with Chinese language education. Yet this study showed that a number of other school-related factors such as inadequate schooling provisions for ethnic minority students, the segregation effect in designated schools, issues in teaching, school policies and practices, teachers’ low expectations and stereotypes contributed to their lack of successful schooling.

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