30,000 fighting it out for Form Six
Gary Cheung and Edmund Ng
More than 30,000 students have been left to battle it out for just 5,000 government-subsidised Form Six places still available after the first day of admissions yesterday.
Of the 49,544 students whose Hong Kong Certificate of Education Examination (HKCEE) results met the minumum entry requirement, 19,243 secured one of the 24,300 government-subsidised places originally on offer.
One of those still hoping for admission was Jonathan Tam, a Form Five student at Tsuen Wan Secondary School. He was among more than 500 parents and students who queued outside Po Leung Kuk Vicwood K. T. Chong Sixth Form College in Tai Kok Tsui before the school started admission procedures at 9am. The earliest arrived at around 4am.
Vicwood is the only government-subsidised school entirely dedicated to Form Six.
Jonathan said he failed to get a Form Six place at his own school despite scoring 17 HKCEE points, adding that his school required at least 25 points.
The minimum Form Six entry requirement, attained by 40.6 per cent of the 122,098 HKCEE candidates, is a total of eight points in at least five subjects. However, students generally need at least 14 points to guarantee them a place, depending on the school.
Jonathan also failed to secure a place at Vicwood yesterday and was put on a waiting list. His mother said the family intended to seek a place at the territory's international schools. Vicwood received 1,602 applications yesterday and all its 380 sixth form places were filled.
In addition to the 24,300 public-sector school places, about 4,500 places are offered by private schools and 2,100 places by schools operating under the direct-subsidy scheme. Both private and direct-subsidy schools can charge students.
A total of 5,057 government-subsidised places were left at 5pm yesterday. Kwai Chung and Tsing Yi district had the most places - 565 - available. There were just 102 vacancies in Central and Western district.
The 22,868 students who scored at least 14 points were allowed to apply for places yesterday. Others can start applying from today.
The five-stage Form Six admission procedure has been shortened from nine days to seven this year. The procedure enters the second and third stages today.
Po Leung Kuk Chao King Lin Sixth Form College in Wan Chai, a private school founded this year, enrolled 85 students for Form Six study. Assistant principal Dr Li Yuk-Keung said there were 315 sixth form places left.
Kwok Ka-kei, a Form Five student at St Joseph's College in Central, said the Wan Chai college offered a quality guarantee and had lower requirements for Form Six admission than other public schools. A Form Six course there costs $28,500 per annum.
Fifteen candidates scored straight A's in all 10 subjects this year. Queen's College in Causeway Bay and St Joseph's College in Central each had four students with top marks. Three students from Diocesan Girls' School in Jordon scored Grade A in all 10 subjects. The remainder come from Tsuen Wan Government Secondary School, Tuen Mun Government Secondary School, Kwun Tong Maryknoll College and Cheung Chuk Shan College in North Point.