Secondary schools expect surplus of 3,000 places

PUBLISHED : Friday, 05 July, 2013, 12:00am
UPDATED : Friday, 05 July, 2013, 4:16am

Government-subsidised secondary schools could see a surplus of more than 3,000 places as the number of pupils graduating from primary school decreased by 10 per cent this year.

The surplus could result in fewer and smaller classes, raising concerns over schools closing and teachers losing their jobs.

The district hardest hit would be Tuen Mun, which could have 650 fewer students, the Education Bureau said, while the Eastern and Southern districts could each have a surplus of 400 places.

The number of Secondary 1 students would continue to fall until 2016, it said. To offset the effect, schools are now allowed to operate two Secondary 1 classes with at least 26 pupils.

The Legislative Council's education panel will discuss the issue next Tuesday, when the results of the secondary school places allocation is released.

Meanwhile, despite a jump in the number of graduates taking this year's secondary education examination, there has been a drop in the number taking three elective subjects in addition to the four compulsory ones.

Just 20 per cent of the 80,000 candidates who sat the Diploma of Secondary Education exams took three electives, down from 30 per cent last year. Most took two electives on top of the compulsory Chinese language, English language, mathematics and liberal studies. Those trying again after failing last year helped push the total up 13 per cent from 2012. Results will be released on July 15.

The Examinations and Assessment Authority secretary general Tong Chong-sze said the reason fewer were taking three electives might be because students felt more confident taking just two, but that it would take more years for the figures to reflect trends.