Under the prevailing ideology of neoliberalism, delegation of in-house functions to third-party for-profit organizations and personnel has gradually expanded its presence in numerous sectors including schooling. In the past decades, polities worldwide have started to allocate government funds to finance schools to purchase educational services on top of traditionally outsourced ancillary functions, the phenomenon of which was termed the “new education privatization” by Patricia Burch. In the US and the UK, this practice has found to raise and perpetuate quality and equity issues in education, particularly concerning service evaluation mechanisms and class-related discrepancy in educational attainment. This presentation explores the degree to which the new privatization of education has been promoted in the Hong Kong context with discussion of relevant quality control and educational equality issues. Based on a document research on a yearly fund provided by the Education Bureau specifically for hiring educational services, the types of purchased services and quality control schemes used by schools in 2 affluent and 2 underprivileged districts have been analyzed and compared. It was found that the phenomenon has had a considerable presence in Hong Kong and may raise accountability and equity issues due to design of evaluation methods and choice of services.
|Publication status||Published - Feb 2015|