I refer to the letter by Mushtaq Mohammad headlined 'Selection process for schools makes no sense' (Sunday Morning Post, June 30).
Under the Primary One admission system, there are two stages of admission, namely the discretionary places (DP) admission stage and the central allocation stage.
In the DP admission stage, parents may apply direct to a government or an aided primary school in September. DP allocation results are released in December. Applicants who miss the deadline for application in September can participate in the central allocation stage.
All parents with children participating in the central allocation are provided with a 'choice of schools' list and required to make their school choices around March.
This is a computer-programmed process. A 'random number' is generated by the computer for each applicant and school places are allocated in accordance with the random numbers and parental choices to ensure fairness.
The computer will consider the school choices made by parents in the indicated order of preference until each applicant is allocated a place.
However, when vacancies in all the selected schools are filled up, the applicant will be allocated to a school on the 'choice of schools' list which has not been chosen.
The deadline for submission of application for DP in the last Primary One admission exercise was September 21, 2001.
According to our records, your correspondent submitted his application in November 2001 and therefore could only participate in the central allocation. Among the six schools available for parents to make choices, he only indicated Li Cheng Uk Government Primary PM School and Yau Ma Tei Kaifong Association School on the choice form.
As available places at these schools were filled when the computer processed his application, his child was allocated a school with vacancies on the 'choice of schools' list which he had not chosen.
W. M. WONG
for Director of Education