Hong Kong schools woo cross-border pupils in battle to survive

Jennifer Ngo:

Hong Kong schools worried that falling pupil numbers will force them to close are courting children across the border in a bid to avoid the axe.
The move comes despite the children facing an hours-long commute to and from school each day – something that puts off many parents.
Schools in North district, where commuting is easier, have little trouble filling their classrooms and even struggle to accommodate pupils from nearby Shenzhen.
But with Hong Kong’s low birth rate leading to falling enrolments, those elsewhere without enough pupils face closure.
Yesterday schools in old urban areas further south such as Pokfulam and Chai Wan – at the far western and eastern ends of Hong Kong Island – were chasing potential entrants in Shenzhen. The schools are among more than 20 Hong Kong kindergartens, primary and secondary schools attending a three-day exhibition in the border city this weekend to promote themselves to parents with Hong Kong-born children living on the mainland.