Primary schools will be barred from interviewing prospective pupils under an Education Commission proposal.
In addition, schools will only be able to select a maximum of 15 per cent of their students compared with up to 65 per cent presently. The rest would be allocated through the central system.
Director of Education Fanny Law Fan Chiu-fun, who supports the interview ban, said: 'I think we shouldn't put so much pressure on children when they are still so young. I've heard that parents push them to practise and practise for the interviews.' Hudson Soo, associate general secretary of the Council of the Church of Christ in China, a major school-sponsoring group, also welcomed the idea.
'It is violating our mission in education if we judge whether a child is from a wealthy family by how he is dressed and where he lives,' Mr Soo said. 'It's also absurd to have centres set up to drill little children for interviews.'