by 高莫娜 Mona

Normally, the public or subsidized schools offer great help to their middle to low-income families but usually it comes with a cost. Following are few of the hindrances that a school head generally faces:

Usually the subsidy is directly subsidized to the parents instead of the schools, it brings the impact on the quality of pre-primary to the high school education. The school heads are usually concerned about pleasing parents and the Education Bureau. In order to meet parents’ expectations, the school might not continue with practices which it believed to be pedagogically sound. I really have a concern whether the direct subsidy to parent is of any help to the school in improving the quality of education. May be the direct subsidy to schools could help it regain and retain professional pedagogical autonomy.

Another concern that if the subsidy is directed to kindergarten, then parents would be neglected. Again, wealthy parents’ kids will receive education while the needy ones will stay at home. And it will be the direct contradiction of the spirit of subsidy scheme which states that no children should be deprived of education due to lack of financial means.

Lack of resources
School definitely lacks enough resources to hold active and hands-on experience kind of learning. To create a child centered learning environment and to improve the quality of education, resources play a vital role. The school charges a nominal fee and has lots of expenses. It is not feasible to achieve the goals as targeted by the “Guide to pre-primary education” guideline.

External forces

In case of local kindergartens of Hong Kong, the schools have limited choices and autonomy as it has to follow the framework as in the (Guide to the Pre-Primary Curriculum) provided from EDB (HK).

Extra work load
There is lots of paper work involved in order to keep the subsidy going. The school administration is very busy in keeping the number of activities record and they are just piling up the work for teachers, in fact the output is not up to the mark.

Managerial approach identified

Managerial approach can be clearly seen in the school settings. The school heads are more concerned about organization and implementation but less concerned about teaching and learning.

At the verge of losing Experienced & Qualified Teachers
It was expected that the subsidies would allow all children an equal education, however in practice the private and the more expensive schools creamed off the best students and teachers (Green, 2000).
The voucher schools are restricted on how much they need to charge school fee and as a result they pay lower salary to their teachers. The qualified and experienced staff expects a higher salary. There is a higher chance of the teachers’ turnover. And, there is a higher chance that the qualified teachers might not be interested to work in the subsidized school. There might be a potential decline in quality of the school.

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