The Philippine Consulate General in Hong Kong demonstrated its support for Yaumati Kaifong Association School (YMTKFAS), the primary school with one of the biggest populations of ethnic Filipino pupils in the territory, at the graduation ceremony for Class 18 held at the Henry G. Leong Yaumatei Community Centre on 6 July 2018.
Deputy Consul General Roderico C. Atienza was the sole representative of the consular corps present at the primary school commencement ceremonies coinciding with the 50th anniversary of its founding.
YMTKFAS Principal Mimi Cheung Yee May praised the approximately 100 Filipino pupils in the school out of the population of 420 enrolled in 12 classes through six primary school years. Calling them “very talented,” Principal Cheung said Filipino children are active in the Show Choir, a school club that mounts musicals and song-and-dance numbers on special occasions.
She also recognized the support of Filipino parents, many of whom were former musicians who came to Hong Kong to play in hotels, bars and restaurants in the territory from back in the 1970s. The chair of the YMTKFAS Parent-Teacher Association is a Filipino-born permanent Hong Kong resident, Ms Susan S. Sanoy.
Founded in 1968, the school maintains two classes per year of 35 students per class on average. Some 90 per cent of all the pupils are ethnic minority children, with Nepalis numbering more than 200. Filipinos are the second biggest group, while the rest are also South Asians from Bangladesh, Pakistan, and India.
In Hong Kong, all children are required by law to attend primary school at age 6 or below, after which they are expected to continue on to secondary school for another six years until 17 years of age. While public sector education is free, the medium of instruction is mainly in Chinese and thus non-ethnic Chinese students experience difficulty in attending mainstream schools.