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People's Daily Online>>China Society

Mothers plan different future for babies

By Yu Ran and Yeung Hau-Ming (China Daily)

08:31, December 13, 2011

Students who live in Shenzhen, Guangdong province, are led by police across the border to go to school in Hong Kong near the start of the school year last autumn. (Photo / Xinhua)

SHANGHAI / HONG KONG - As more mothers from the Chinese mainland have opted to give birth in Hong Kong, the city is expecting to see a peak in children entering its kindergartens and primary schools in the next couple of years.

According to the latest projections from the special administrative region's (SAR) census and statistics department, the number of fresh primary school students (6 years old and above) will rise from 50,400 this year to 66,100 in 2016.

"As more parents look to give their children a Westernized education, going to school in Hong Kong has become one of the shortcuts," said Wang Binhua, a professor at East China Normal University's Institute of Curriculum and Instruction.

Hong Kong's baby boom began in 2003, when the central government made it easier for mainland residents to visit the SAR.

Official figures show there were 88,584 babies born in Hong Kong in 2010, with 40,648 born to mainland mothers, up from about 20,000 in 2005.

"I had my second son in Hong Kong (in 2008) mainly because I had planned to send him to study and live in Hong Kong in the future," said Hang Xiluan, 37.

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