Form One classes ruled out for two schools

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 14 March, 2009, 12:00am
UPDATED : Saturday, 14 March, 2009, 12:00am

Two government-aided primary schools would not be allowed to offer Form One classes this September because of insufficient enrolment, the Education Bureau said yesterday.

In spite of the adoption of small-class teaching this year, the two schools failed to attain the minimum enrolment threshold of 16 students.

The bureau said the two schools could choose from options including participating in the central allocation process again next year, merging with other schools and applying for the direct subsidy scheme. But only the schools from districts that failed to adopt small-class teaching because of classroom shortages would be allowed to join the central allocation process again next year.

Aided Primary School Heads' Council chairman Alex Cheung Chi-hung said the bureau should relent in its drive to close schools amid a shrinking student population.

'They should allow [the two schools] to join the central allocation again next year irrespective of whether they come from those districts that fail to adopt small-class teaching or not. If they still fail to meet the target next year, then they will be deserving of closure.'

The results of Primary One discretionary places for all government and aided primary schools for September 2009 were released in November. A total of 42,189 students applied for the places, 1,500 fewer than the year before, and the lowest in seven years.

The results for central allocation places will be announced in June.