No space at Hong Kong schools for children with special education needs

At least 20 children who require additional education support will have to endure long daily trips to new schools for the new academic year, due to the simple fact that their district school has no space for them.

The parents of these children who live in Tsuen Wan and Kwai Tsing in the western New Territories recently told the media that they were informed by the Hong Kong Education Bureau by mail in late May that there were not enough places in the two area primary schools for those with moderate mental disabilities. The families were only offered places at a special school in Sham Shui Po in Kowloon or Tseung Kwan O in southeast New Territories.

In 2017, there were complaints flooding into the government by parents who felt the city was failing their children because of the long waiting lists for basic services, the lack of financial assistance and schools that were unable or unwilling to help. And only last year, the SCMP cited parents’ complaints about the government’s lack of understanding and education opportunities for children who required early intervention and support. And here we are in 2019, where 20 children must travel long distances to schools because the government has made absolutely no educational provisions for them.

In reality, the educational path of children with disabilities in Hong Kong is strewn with logistical, social, and economic pitfalls that mean they often face a compromised schooling experience – if they get to attend school at all.

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