A fifth of primary schools on target
Will Clem and Mimi Lau
A fifth of primary schools last year ran Primary One classes almost as small or even smaller than the proposed small-class level, according to enrolment figures on the official school profile lists.
Chief Executive Donald Tsang Yam-kuen this week announced plans to cut class sizes in 'suitable primary schools' to 25 students in their 2009 Primary One admission.
Education chief Michael Suen Ming-yeung confirmed on Thursday that the Education Bureau would simultaneously introduce a blanket cap on class sizes 'somewhere between 30 and 40' in all public-sector primary schools.
Although the bureau currently has no upper limit on class sizes, fire regulations stipulate schools cannot have more than 45 pupils in a classroom at a time.
But close examination of the enrolment figures by Education Post found only 20 schools which ran Primary One classes with 40 or more pupils last year.
They included one school - Good Hope School in Choi Hung - which was running five classes with the legal maximum of 45 pupils in each.
The school profiles, compiled by the hkedcity.net website, include enrolments for close to 600 primary schools, correct for April 30 this year.
But in at least 117 schools, Primary One classes were close to or lower than the proposed small-class level, with 27 students or less.
The smallest number in a class was in North Lamma School, which had just seven Primary One pupils last year.