On 11 December 2015, the Centre for Comparative and Public Law (CCPL) and Hong Kong Unison organised a conference entitled ‘Receptivity and Responsibility: Are Mainstream Schools Prepared for Hong Kong’s Ethnic Minority Students?". The conference provided a platform that promoted a constructive and open dialogue between different stakeholders to discuss (a) the legal obligation to provide an inclusive and equitable education to ethnic minority children; (b) creating an inclusive learning environment that supports ethnic diversity in the mainstream setting; and (c) the effective use of the Learning Framework (and other measures). Speakers included educators, curriculum designers, academics, and representatives from the HKSAR Education Bureau. The keynote speech was delivered by the Honourable Ip Kin Yuen, Legislative Council member for the Functional Constituency of Education, who spoke about what the next steps are for Non-Chinese Students’ Chinese Language learning.
To address some of the needs discussed in the conference, the Virtual Teaching and Learning Centre for Diversity and Inclusion (VTLC) was introduced at the conference. The VLTC aims to establish an online platform as a teaching and learning centre for the sharing of international, regional and local best practices on pedagogical approaches to enhancing inclusive education. Supported by Stanley Ho Alumni Challenge and presented by the 1984 Inclusion Fund as part of a grant from the University of Hong Kong’s Social Inclusion Fund that runs from January 2016 to July 2017, the VTLC is open to academic institutions, school principals, administrators and teachers, and ethnic minority parents and students to discuss curriculum and teaching approaches, strategies, policies and even to share curriculum models for effective teaching and learning for Ethnic Minority Students. Ten schools will be invited to participate at the start of the project and thirty teachers are sought to upload and share material and feedback, comment on the forum regularly, and participate in monthly meetings to facilitate collaboration. Benefits for those wishing to get involved include opportunities to share material and research, good practice models, ideas about pedagogy, and ideas for a diverse 21st century classroom. If you are interested in being involved, kindly fill out the online form at https://goo.gl/iCXcpk.