All set to tackle to tackle HKCEE callers
STUDENT counselling organisations have strengthened their hotline service by adding more lines, counsellors and volunteer helpers to meet the expected rush of calls when the HKCEE results are announced tomorrow.
The Hok Yau Club, one of the largest counselling organisations in the territory, has set up a strong team of 120 counsellors and assistants to man its 22-line telephone service during the 11-day operation.
Last year, the club put up 20 lines manned by some 70 volunteers; about 16,000 calls were received.
''Last year's situation was not very good because we failed to recruit enough volunteers and so not all lines were fully utilised,'' said Mr Ng Tak-kay, director of the club's student counselling centre.
''But this year, with a stronger team, we can pick up more calls and provide better service. Two workers are expected to man a line, so that they can jot down notes and pick up the telephone alternatively.'' Mr Ng said the recruitment of volunteers was always a headache for the organisation because ''this is a voluntary job with no payment, so there's no guarantee for the number of volunteers''.
''Fewer volunteers may turn up when, for example, airline tickets are cheap enough to attract more people to travel,'' he said.
The volunteers, mostly matriculation graduates or secondary school graduates aged 24 or above, have received training on counselling techniques and Form 6 admission information.
''The training included a two-day camp where they raised questions and learned techniques on counselling.
''To maintain standards, an evaluation was conducted at the end of the camp and participants who failed were not taken in.'' The service, which started last Sunday, is running overnight till Thursday 10 pm. The hotline number is 519-9933.
He expects questions about promotion to Form 6 and repeating Form 5 will, as in past years, top the enquiries.
Meanwhile, the club is distributing the ''Prospect Guide'' to HKCEE candidates. The free booklet contains detailed information on Form 6 promotion and Form 5 repeat.
The 100,000 copies can be collected in most schools, large bookstores and Hok Yau Club centres.
Meanwhile, RTHK Radio 2 will broadcast a special Youth Hotline programme tonight (from 8 pm to 10 pm). HKCEE candidates can dial 187-2388 to seek advice. The service will be continued on Radios 1, 2 and 5, from 11.20 pm tonight until 2 am tomorrow, in Heart to Heart.
The following organisations will also provide hotline services during the HKCEE period: Hong Kong Samaritans, from today until Thursday, 793-1177 (6 lines).
Hong Kong Federation of Youth Groups, today until Thursday, 777-8899 (5 lines).
ELCHK Sha Tin Youth Centre, from today until Thursday, 6917163 (2 lines).
Salvation Army Wah Fu Youth Centre, from now until August 16, 875-5781 (2 lines).