The challenge of promoting ethnic minority education and cultural diversity in Hong Kong schools : From policy to practice

Ming-tak Hue, Kerry J. Kennedy


An important feature of Hong Kong’s education reform over the past decade has been the articulation of the “no loser principle”. This policy statement was meant to signal that all students are valuable and will benefit from both basic and senior secondary education. Yet barriers remain for the 2.9% of students under the age of 15 who can be classified as ethnic minorities. Until the 2008 Racial Discrimination Ordinance (RDO), the educational needs of these students remained an invisible issue for the school system. This article examines the policy context in which Hong Kong schools have made provisions for ethnic minority students, and reviews classroom practices that operationalize these policies on a daily basis. In an interview study involving 32 teachers’ narratives of how they managed the cultural diversity of ethnic minority students in classrooms (Hue & Kennedy, 2012, 2013), it was reported that at the practical level, teachers struggle to meet the diverse needs of students and to conceptualize a new rationale for responding to cultural diversity. The implications of promoting ethnic minority education at the three levels of policy, practice and research are discussed




anti-discrimination; cultural diversity; ethnic minority



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