'Voluntary' deal on school classes

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 26 February, 2011, 12:00am
UPDATED : Saturday, 26 February, 2011, 12:00am

The education chief said yesterday that King's College voluntarily agreed to cut the number of its Form One classes, but the assertion was disputed by a member of the school board.

The Education Bureau announced on Thursday that King's College in Sai Ying Pun had joined more than 150 secondary schools in agreeing to sign up for the class-reduction scheme, despite strong opposition from parents and alumni. It was the last of 15 government schools holding out ahead of yesterday's deadline.

Secretary for Education Michael Suen Ming-yeung said the bureau consulted all the schools about the scheme. 'There are so many public schools in a similar situation as King's College. They all understand that they have to make this decision and support our policy,' he said.

But Dr Cheng Man-yung, an alumni representative on the school board, said the bureau had already made the decision before Thursday's meeting. 'We did not have the right to decide.'

He said the bureau made the announcement 'amid strong opposition', and some parents were still complaining yesterday that they were not consulted. '[The bureau] acted like it had carried out a consultation, but does that mean it was effective?'