More Form Five students are planning ahead
She is a repeater who will not have a second chance to repeat Form Five under a new senior secondary system this year. But, 19-year-old Julia Chu Lai-na is fully prepared for her future even if she does not achieve a good exam result.
Ahead of Wednesday's announcement of the Hong Kong Certificate of Education Examination results, Chu said one thing was for sure - she did not want to work and still wanted to return to school, either to pursue a sub-degree or diploma programme, or Form Six studies.
'I expect my result will be between 10 to 15 points, which should be enough to enrol in diploma programmes run by many institutions, like Caritas, the YMCA, the Hong Kong College of Technology and IVE,' she said.
'I was so unprepared last year that I completely freaked out when I obtained only 10 points. So I chose to repeat Form Five. But this year, I have done extensive research on all the different options. So I'm not particularly worried,' she said.
Chu is among the increasing numbers of Form Five students planning better for their future.
The Hong Kong Sheng Kung Hui Welfare Council surveyed 976 Form Five graduates this year and of those 64.1 per cent said they would make a decision about their future direction, a rise from 58.6 per cent last year.
As many as 48.2 per cent said they knew which way their future path should go, compared to 41.6 per cent last year.
Council clinical psychologist Gloria Wan Wing-yiu said the better flow of information and more post-Form Five choices help students plan for their future.
More than a half (56.7 per cent) said that if they did not advance to Form Six they wanted to study at the Institute of Vocational Education (IVE) and similar vocational training institutes. About 15 per cent said that if Form Six was not an option, they would pursue a sub-degree and another 14.7 per cent plan to study overseas or on the mainland. The remaining 5.3 per cent plan to enrol in programmes like Project Yi Jin, in which a graduate of a one-year, full-time course can get qualifications equivalent to five passes in the HKCEE.
But, 58.5 per cent said the new senior secondary system would have impact on them and 11 per cent admitted they felt the pressure from the new system.
Education Bureau principal education officer Kwan Siu-kam said yesterday that rather than follow the old system and repeat Form Five, students would be better off proceeding to Yijin or other education programmes.
Kwan said there were a total of 83,000 places for Form Five graduates to pursue further education, including 35,000 Form Six places, with the remainder encompassing a wide range of options such as sub-degree, IVE and Yi Jin programmes.
There are 127,000 Form Five exam candidates this year, compared with 115,000 last year. Every year about 10,000 pupils who failed to gain a Form Six place repeated their Form Five studies. But no schools will take Form Five repeaters in the 2010-11 academic year, since Forms Six and Seven will be phased out by 2012.