Education-plus December 2018 | 超越教育 2018年12月

M any parents in Hong Kong dig deep into their pockets to finance their children’s schooling, from expensive kindergartens to local/overseas universities, hoping to give them a solid foundation for their future. A study commissioned by a banking giant last year supports this widely accepted view. Topping the list of 15 countries, Hong Kong parents spend over HK$1 million on education per child, three times the global average, and exceeding that of the UAE, Singapore, Taiwan and China. This finding reflects the ever-rising school fees and growing number of private and direct subsidy scheme (DSS) schools in Hong Kong. Are parent and government monies going to the right place? Is the Hong Kong education system developing in the right direction? An in-depth study conducted by Professor Chiu Ming Ming, Chair Professor of Analytics and Diversity and Director of the Assessment Research Centre at EdUHK, sheds light on these matters. Towards equity and excellence Professor Chiu’s research on students’ mathematics test scores in 65 regions reveals that the seven well-established and economically equal Asian education systems—Hong Kong, Singapore, South Korea, Japan, Taiwan, Macau and Shanghai—produce students with higher interest in mathematics and higher mathematics learning outcomes than students in the US and 57 other regions. He explained that a country’s wealth is only part of the reason students learn more; equality also affects students’ learning outcomes. “In more equitable education systems, like those in Hong Kong and in Asia, economically disadvantaged students and lower ability students benefit from greater access to resources, resulting in higher achievement overall. This explains why students in Hong Kong do better in mathematics than students in richer Western countries, such as the US or Britain, in which disadvantaged students learn far less than their privileged peers,” said Professor Chiu. The case for equality in education 公平原則 投放教育 10 Transforming Knowledge 知識轉化