18,000 vie for last 49 Form Six places

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 12 August, 2007, 12:00am
UPDATED : Sunday, 12 August, 2007, 12:00am

Just 49 places remain for more than 18,000 students who are qualified to attend Form Six.

The places will be handed out tomorrow by the Education Bureau at five Central Allocation Application Centres from 9am, after Tropical Storm Pabuk disrupted Stage IV of the secondary school admissions process.

Schools taking part in Stage IV on Friday were forced to suspend admissions interviews at 2.30pm when the No8 signal was hoisted, with 136 of the 3,394 places unfilled. Sessions resumed yesterday morning, but only 87 of the remaining places were filled.

Competition for Form Six places has been particularly keen this year, with the number of qualifying students rising by nearly 3,000 to 49,928 - almost twice the number of places available in the five-day scramble.

For students who do not succeed in securing a place, the search for alternative study will begin in earnest this week.

Chiu Wing-tat, honorary adviser with the Association of Career Masters and Guidance Masters, said: 'The main options are to seek a Form Six place in a good private school or to enter a pre-associate degree programme or a higher diploma course at the Institute of Vocational Education.

'There are 20,000 to 30,000 places available on pre-associate degree programmes this year and they should check on the Education Bureau website to see whether programmes are accredited.'

Lui Hong, head of external relations for the Vocational Training Council, said about 50,000 Form Five students had applied earlier this year for the 12,000 higher diploma places available at the institute's colleges.

After HKCEE results were released on Wednesday, about 6,000 places were allocated to top-achieving students in two preferential schemes, while unsuccessful applicants were able to apply for selected courses on-line on Wednesday and Thursday.

'Students who applied online will learn whether they have been successful on Tuesday,' he said. 'And if they have not got a place in the computerised admissions round, they can still apply in the clearing round on Friday, when they have to go to their chosen IVE college and apply. We should have about 1,000 places on higher diploma courses especially in IT and engineering.'

Results will be uploaded on the bureau's website - www.edb.gov.hk/s6ap - on Thursday.