The demand for international school in Hong Kong is increasing in the recent years. According to the annual questionnaire survey done by the Education Department, the total number of students in international schools increases 83.2 % from 1610 to 2950 within four years (1997/98 - 2001/02). Moreover, the total number of local students attending those schools also increases 63.2% from 6.8% to 11.1%. (Detail of statistics can be found in appendix P. 12) We can see that, local parents have a high value on their children's entry into international schools. In this essay, I am going to explain some reasons for the lure of international schools in Hong Kong. Firstly, I will discuss their packaging and images by exploring the web pages of some international schools in Hong Kong. Secondly, I will compare these schools with local schools in order to find out the reasons why these packaging are so attractive in Hong Kong context. Finally, I will also interview with a previous international student and his parents to find out their points of view on this issue.
1. The packaging and images of international schools
It is a common belief among Hong Kong parents and students that international schools are very "attractive." However, how "attractive" are they? In this part, I am going to study the packaging and images of three international schools in order to answer this question. The three international schools selected are Chinese International School, Yew Chung International School and Shatin College. They are chosen because they gain increasing popularity and high reputation among parents in Hong Kong.
By exploring to the web pages of the above three schools, the packaging used and the images of international schools can be divided into five parts: general objective and mission, curriculum, language, teachers and teaching methods and facilities.
a. General mission and objective
The general mission and objective of Chinese International School and Yew Chung International School are very similar. It can be divided into three aspects: academic, language proficiency and personal development. In academic aspect, both schools emphasize the development of knowledge, skills and understanding, as well as the application of knowledge rather than simply recall it. The development of dual language proficiency in English and Putonghua is also the mission of these two international schools. Lastly, both schools stress on students' development of self-esteem, confidence, independence and creativity.
All these aims are more or less similar to those of local schools. However, most parents believe that international schools tend to be more successful in attaining these aims than local schools. The main reason is that, as these two schools state their principles and approaches in achieving their aims comprehensively at the same time when they introduce their mission. Therefore, it seems that their objectives are more concrete and accessible. Their packaging...