Former Portuguese colony and now a Special Administrative Region of China, Macau had progressed from following its colonizer and its neighbouring cities, like Hong Kong and Taiwan, to establishing its own education system and being the first in the Greater China region to deliver 15-year free education. The objective of this study was to examine the perceived impacts of this policy on the affordability, accessibility, accountability of early childhood education in Macau. A multiple case study, using quantitative (surveys) and qualitative (interviews) measures, was conducted in four private kindergartens in Macau to understand how the 4 principals, 24 teachers and 119 parents viewed the policy impacts. The results indicated that: (1) across roles, parents were the most supportive of the policy and consistently gave the highest grading amongst the three stakeholders. Principals were the most knowledgeable of the policy, but graded the policy lowest and regarded the government’s financial subsidy as the most insufficient. Teachers were the least optimistic and positive about the impacts of the policy. They felt that teacher qualification and the quality of teaching resources should be further enhanced; (2) Across school types, kindergartens which joined the free education network graded the policy higher and perceived its impacts more positively than the one which did not join; (3) Extra subsidies were suggested by the respondents to cover children’s extra-curricular activities, support from childcare and special education professionals, and school-based curriculum development.
Education Development Fund Budget Swells by 25.7 PercentMacau Daily Times2013January14Accessed September 1, 2013http://archive.macaudailytimes.com.mo/macau/40959-education-development-fund-budget-swells-by-25-7-percent.html
Governo de Macau Direcção dos Serviços de Estatística e Censos. gmdsec. Macau Government Statistics and Census Service“Education Survey”2013Accessed September 27, 2013http://www.dsec.gov.mo/Statistic.aspx?NodeGuid=77e4b03a-e3bb-4c58-81f9-36e18600ca43
Governo de Macau Direcção dos Serviços de Educação e Juventude. gmdsej. Macau Government Education and Youth Affairs Bureau“Law No. 9/2006— Fundamental Law of Non-tertiary Education System”2006Accessed July 28, 2013http://www.dsej.gov.mo/~webdsej/www/edulaw/law_9_2006/content/chap04-e.htm
Governo de Macau Direcção dos Serviços de Educação e Juventude. gmdsej. Macau Government Education and Youth Affairs Bureau“System Framework for Private School Teaching Staff of Non-tertiary Education”2011Accessed September 25, 2013http://portal.dsej.gov.mo/webdsejspace/internet/Inter_main_page.jsp?id=21347
Governo de Macau Direcção dos Serviços de Educação e Juventude. gmdsej. Macau Government Education and Youth Affairs Bureau“Table of School Statistical Data (Scholastic Year 2012/2013)—Number of Schools by School Type and Education Level”2012Accessed September 14, 2013http://portal.dsej.gov.mo/webdsejspace/internet/category/teachorg/Inter_main_page.jsp?id=8525
Governo de Macau Direcção dos Serviços de Educação e Juventude. gmdsej. Macau Government Education and Youth Affairs Bureau“A Guide to School Enrollment 2013/2014 School Year”2013Accessed September 10, 2013http://22.214.171.124/dsej/magazine/escolar_guia/1314/general-e.pdf
Governo de Macau Gabinete de Comunicação Social. gmgcs. Government Information Bureau2013Accessed August 1, 2013www.gcs.gov.mo/files/factsheet/Education_en.doc.
LiHuiSinJessie Ming WongChristineX. Wang“Affordability, accessibility, and accountability: Perceived impacts of the Pre-primary Education Vouchers in Hong Kong”Early Childhood Research Quarterly201025no. 1125138