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The Development of Pre-Primary Services in Hong Kong: Quality Review as a Lever of Continuous School Improvement

Authors
  • Poon, Andrew C. S.1
  • 1 University of Nottingham, Nottingham, UK , Nottingham (United Kingdom)
Type
Published Article
Journal
International Journal of Child Care and Education Policy
Publisher
Springer Singapore
Publication Date
May 01, 2008
Volume
2
Issue
1
Pages
15–26
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1007/2288-6729-2-1-15
Source
Springer Nature
Keywords
License
Yellow

Abstract

At present, early childhood education is not part of the universal and compulsory system of education in Hong Kong. All pre-primary services are run by non-profit-making institutions or private independent bodies in Hong Kong. The operation of pre-primary services is largely market driven. According to the organic system model, the development of pre-primary services in Hong Kong had gone through a period of stable development with self-managing institutions which have placed an emphasis on internal effectiveness in the early stages. Since 1997, the services have undergone changes that have been brought forth by the education reforms which hinted upon the interface effectiveness between the pre-primary services operators and the government. Taking effect from 2007, the pre-primary institutions experienced a period of enhanced development under the Pre-primary Education Voucher Scheme. This period stressed the importance of intraface effectiveness among the key stakeholders—parents, professionals and government. Upon the implementation of the education voucher scheme, a Quality Review system was poised to ensure the deliver of standards-based quality pre-primary services with a clear vision and sense of mission, performance indicators, as well as intended and expected outcomes. The Quality Review aimed to adopt a two-pronged approach based on internal quality assurances undertaken by School Self-evaluations and external school reviews. It can be argued that this represents the best way to improve standards through the collaborative efforts of pre-primary institutions and the government. All pre-primary institutions under the Scheme should be accountable to their stakeholders by optimizing the school data by perfecting their planning cycle through on-going process of self-evaluation, while the government should monitor the state of education at both the national and district levels. The Quality Review is the lever of change that has a direct bearing on the quality performance of pre-primary institutions, children’s learning and leadership issues at both the school and system levels.

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