May 30, 2023
HONG KONG – Enrollment at kindergartens in Hong Kong is expected to drop significantly in the 2023-2024 school year, according to the results of a survey released on Monday.
The survey, which interviewed 320 kindergartens from May 2, found that nearly 84 percent of the schools surveyed indicated that the number of K1 students in the 2023-2024 school year will be much lower.
Additionally, 40 percent of the schools surveyed said that the number of students who gave up their places has increased this year.
Nearly 90% of the schools surveyed said that they were in financial difficulties, and more than 75.6% had laid off staff as a result
The main reasons cited for the decrease in enrollment were a decline in the birthrate, which was reported by more than 84 percent of the schools surveyed, and immigration, which was cited by over 75 percent of the schools.
The problem of falling student numbers has put great pressure on kindergarten operation. Nearly 90 percent of the schools surveyed said that they were in financial difficulties, and more than 75.6 percent of the schools surveyed had laid off staff as a result.
And 59.2 percent of the schools surveyed said that pay cuts and pay freezes were necessary, with some even facing bankruptcy, and describing the situation as pessimistic.
The survey was conducted by the Hong Kong Federation of Education Workers. The federation has called on the government to introduce measures to keep kindergartens afloat, such as by increasing subsidies and adjusting the teacher-student ratio, so as to alleviate operating pressure on the sector and ensure that kindergartens can continue to provide high-quality education to children.