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Enhancing preschool education in Hong Kong

  • Nirmala Rao
  • Maggie Koong
Articles

Abstract

Although Hong Kong has over 1100 kindergartens and child care centres, and over 95% of its preschool-aged population attend preschools, education for these young children has received comparatively lower priority than primary, secondary or tertiary education. Over the past few decades, however, the Hong Kong Government has taken many positive steps to ensure that early childhood programmes provide a minimum acceptable quality of care and education. This paper presents an overview of preschool education in Hong Kong. It considers the history of preschool education, early childhood curriculum, training of early childhood professionals and ways in which standards of services are monitored. Trends in preschool education are articulated and current problems in Early Childhood Education are discussed. These include the exclusion from the main education system, inadequate subsidies to preschools, slow progress in teacher training, high adult-child ratios, the lack of attention to the transition from preschool to primary school, and the lack of policy-relevant empirical research. It is clear that the time has now come to move beyond ensuring minimum quality and directing resources towards high quality programmes of early childhood education and care.

Keywords

Government Printer Early Childhood Education Education Department Kindergarten Teacher Child Care Centre 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

Resume

Bien que Hong Kong ait plus de 1100 crèches et écoles maternelles, et que plus de 95% de sa population d’âge préscolaire aille à l’école, il a été donné à l’éducation de ses jeunes enfants une priorité relativement moindre qu’à l’éducation primaire, secondaire ou tertiaire. Durant les quelques décades précédentes, cependant, le Gouvernement de Hong Kong a pris plusieurs initiatives afin d’assurer aux programmes de maternelles une qualité éducative et de protection minimale. Cette étude présente un récapitulatif de l’éducation préscolaire à Hong Kong. Elle considère l’histoire de l’éducation préscolaire, ses programmes académiques, la formation de ses professionnels ainsi que la façon dont le respect des standards de la profession sont assurés. Les tendances de l’éducation préscolaire sont mises en évidence et les problèmes auxquels elle fait face actuellement sont discutés, particulièrement ceux de l’exclusion du système éducatif principal, du financement insuffisant des maternelles, du lent progrès de la formation des institueurs, du ratio élevé adulte-enfants, du manque d’attention à la transition entre la maternelle et l’école primaire, et du manque de recherche expérimentale concernant sa réglementation. Il est clair qu’il est maintenant temps de voir au-delà d’une qualité minimale et d’allouer des ressources vers des programmes de qualité pour l’éducation préscolaire.

Resumen

Aunque Hong Kong tiene 1100 escuelas de párvulos y guarderías infantiles, y sobre un 95% de su población de edad pre-escolar atienden escuelas pre-escolares, la educación de estos niños jóvenes ha recibido una prioridad más baja comparada con la educación primaria, secundaria o terciaria. Sin embargo, en las décadas recientes, el gobierno de Hong Kong ha tomado varias medidas positivas para asegurarse de que los programas de educación infantil proporcionen una calidad mínima de cuidado y educación aceptable. Este papel presenta una descripción de la educación preescolar en Hong Kong. Considera la historia de la educación pre-escolar, el plan de estudios de educación infantil, el entrenamiento de los profesionales de educación infantil y las maneras en las cuales los estándares de servicios se vigilan. Las tendencias en la educación pre-escolar son articuladas y los problemas actuales en la educación infantil son discutidas. Éstos incluyen la exclusión del sistema educativo principal, los subsidios inadecuados a las escuelas pre-escolares, el progreso lento en el entrenamiento del profesor, las tasas altas de adulto-niño, la falta de atención a la transición de la escuela pre-escolar a la escuela primaria, y la falta de investigación empírica relevante a la política. Está claro que ha llegado el tiempo para movernos más allá de asegurar calidad mínima y de dirigir recursos hacia programas de alta calidad de cuidado y educación infantil.

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Copyright information

© Springer 2000

Authors and Affiliations

  • Nirmala Rao
    • 1
    • 2
  • Maggie Koong
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.The University of Hong KongHong Kong
  2. 2.Victoria Educational OrganisationAustralia

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