Politics, power, and ethnic minority children’s rights: Some implications for inclusive lifelong education in post-colonial Hong Kong

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Abstract

Globalization, massive migration and increased intercultural contact have brought two interrelated political/educational issues into the spotlight: 1) the globalization of economy and changes in the labor market and organizational structures have pushed lifelong learning high on the political/educational agenda; and 2) increased mobility and global flows of immigrant and migrants on an unprecedented scale have increased the racial, ethnic, cultural and religious diversity within societies. Since diversity remains on the rise, with minority population growing faster in many countries/regions, it is now widely recognized that education has to address the new social, economic, political and intercultural challenges, to promote lifelong learning opportunities, and to maintain and improve a country’s/region’s global competitiveness. Hong Kong is not alone in having a sizeable number of ethnic minorities and face specific challenges in retaining its global economic standing while remaining a substantial number of minority people who have been defined as failures by the education system, inside the lifelong learning agenda. This keynote addresses the urgent problem of significance for Hong Kong. Dr. Gao Fang reports her studies on colonial and post-colonial language-in-education policies and planning pertaining to underprivileged South/Southeast Asian minorities. Bourdieusian concepts of capital are employed to explore historically noteworthy progressive steps towards language education juxtaposed with recent indicators of policy development. Based on the research findings, Dr. Gao argues that Hong Kong still has a long way to go in including language as ‘a prohibited discriminatory ground’ in education, in managing ethnolinguistic diversity against linguicism, and in providing inclusive lifelong education as a means to enable social, political, and economic activities of all individuals and groups at both local and global contexts. Copyright © 2018 CESHK.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2018

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Citation

Gao, F. (2018, March). Politics, power, and ethnic minority children’s rights: Some implications for inclusive lifelong education in post-colonial Hong Kong. Paper presented at the CESHK 2018 Spring Annual Conference: Meaning and role of education amid global changes and local challenges, The Education University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong, China.