Ethnic minorities children in Hong Kong Photo: HK Government

Five ethnic minorities students who received scholarships to further their studies of early childhood education are eager to better support non-Chinese kindergarten students in Hong Kong.

Funded by the Hong Kong Jockey Club Charities Trust and co-created by three local universities and two non-governmental organisations, a five-year project launched in 2016 aims to support ethnic minority students to enhance their Chinese proficiency, helping them to better adapt to primary education and integrate into the community, Sing Tao Daily reported.

The project also trained 140 non-ethnic Chinese students to become multicultural teaching assistants through a one-year diploma program in early childhood education.

Students whose performances were deemed outstanding were each granted scholarships of HK$30,000 (US$3,822) to help them continue their study in the field, Ming Pao Daily reported.

Kausar Hena, a 20-year-old Pakistani student who was among the scholarship winners said she communicated with local friends in Cantonese as she grown up in local secondary schools. However, despite hard work on her part, she only received a score of 1 in Chinese language as she had difficulties with Chinese writing.

With inadequate resources, many non-Chinese parents in the city face difficulties if they want their children to learn Chinese. This is in part because children of ethnic minorities tend to socialize with each other, which hinders their acquisition of Chinese.

Hena said that she hoped her own experience, as well as the program materials and internship, could assist her in teaching young children to understand the language better.

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