Build a Bonded Community by
Including More Diversity into the Police Force
Hong Kong Police Force

Exemplary Services@Gov
2015
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Chinese language proficiency has been a major challenge for integrating Hong Kong’s non-ethnic Chinese residents into the community. To address this issue, Yau Tsim Police District initiated "Project Gemstone", a programme that offered a series of Chinese lessons and community activities to help young non-ethnic Chinese between the age of 16 and 25 who wish to join the civil service. The project is expected to help them overcome language barriers, improve community integration and raise support for the government and the Police Force.

Tailor-made curriculum and friendly mentors

There are many non-ethnic Chinese groups living in Yau Tsim District. To more actively engage them, the Yau Tsim Police District has launched "Project Gemstone" after consulting various stakeholders. Weekly Chinese courses were designed to help students improve reading and writing skills. They were taught by an experienced Chinese language teacher who specialised in tutoring non-ethnic Chinese. The programme was supported by Police Community Relations, Yau Tsim District as well as 50 volunteer Police Officers.

The police volunteers received professional training in Chinese language instruction, and understood the focus of the courses and programme arrangements. Due to the students’ differing levels of Chinese ability, instructors prepared individualised teaching materials. An e-learning platform and mobile apps were also used to form groups for teachers and students which facilitated greater interactions and discussions. This was particularly convenient for part-time students, and more engaging for young students. Instructors were patient, and guided learners to understand the importance of Chinese language, while establishing supportive mentorship relationships. The project has shown significant results in the past two years, and students have improved their language abilities and developed a stronger sense of belonging to the Hong Kong community.

A holistic approach to developing community participation

The project focused on providing comprehensive development. In addition to Chinese language, students received direction in personal growth and teamwork. Students had the opportunity to participate in a variety of experiential activities, including marching exercises, visits to government departments, the Hong Kong Police College and other units of the Police Force. Moreover, they received hands-on experience with police operations - for example, crowd control - to gain an in-depth understanding of the work of the police and the government.

Several students of the programme have already joined the Force, including two police officers, an auxiliary police officer, and a police community liaison assistant. In these roles, they will foster a better understanding of the needs of ethnic minorities, promoting mutual understanding, and thereby building a more inclusive and participatory community which benefits Hong Kong, as a whole.

Students performed crowd-control duties during major events.
Students performed crowd-control duties during major events.
The programme offers two-hour weekly Chinese courses to improve students’ language capabilities.
The programme offers two-hour weekly Chinese courses to improve students’ language capabilities.
Adnan Kan, a student from 'Project Gemstone', completed foundation training for recruits and successfully joined the Force.
Adnan Kan, a student from "Project Gemstone", completed foundation training for recruits and successfully joined the Force.