Education and Schools in Hong Kong
Schools in Hong Kong are well regarded academically. Although public schools uphold a high standard of learning, the curriculum is mostly taught in Cantonese and centred on learning by repetition and frequent examinations.
As a result, expat families usually enrol their children in private international schools. Fortunately, the diverse nature of Hong Kong ensures that there are many international teachers and school options for expat children.
Public schools in Hong Kong
Public schools in Hong Kong are fully funded by the government and offer free education to all children. Some schools may offer some classes in English but overall support for English-speaking children within the public education system is low. Therefore, only children who can speak Cantonese fluently should be schooled publicly in Hong Kong.
International schools in Hong Kong
There is a large number of international schools in Hong Kong which teach the curriculum of their founding country or internationally recognised programmes like the International Baccalaureate. The American and British curricula are taught by many international schools but other countries are also represented, such as Canada, France and Germany.
Fees for international schools are typically sky-high, and families with an expat package that does not include a school subsidy may find the cost of international schools in Hong Kong to be prohibitively expensive.
The limited number of places at international schools in Hong Kong may also be a concern for expat families as this form of education has become so popular among well-to-do local families that places are often filled by non-expat children. For this reason, it's important to start the application process as early as possible.
Homeschooling in Hong Kong
The laws around homeschooling in Hong Kong are vague, but it is generally agreed that families intending to homeschool should inform the Hong Kong Education Bureau of their intention to do so. There are a number of local homeschooling organisations in Hong Kong that expats can seek guidance from.