The Government has been urged to extend a scheme which subsidises places in private secondary schools, due to the continuous influx of migrant children. About 66 mainland children whose parents are Hong Kong citizens arrive daily in the territory on one-way permits. Most are of primary school age, which has led to an increasing demand for secondary school places in the near future. The Chairman of the Hong Kong Education Policy Concern Organisation, Mervyn Cheung Man-ping, said that a scheme to subsidise private secondary school places, which started in the early 1990s but ends in 2001, should continue. The organisation estimated that six to seven private schools, involving about 7,000 subsidised places, would have to close in 2001 because schools that are not on self-owned property cannot obtain full Government subsidies. Mr Cheung said the Education Department should consider giving them continued subsidies. 'There will be a big shortage in secondary school places unless the Government is willing to plan ahead,' he said. Only 702 migrant children out of 6,000 who arrived between December 1996 and February this year had found a school place via the Education Department, said Mr Cheung. Between April and December last year less than half of the 17,000 young arrivals had enrolled in orientation or language courses. 'It indicates that the Government has not done enough to help the children,' said Mr Cheung. He added that migrant students aged between six and eight had not had the opportunity to improve their English. The age group could neither join an orientation class, which caters for children aged between six and 15, nor study in the English Extension Programme for those aged between nine and 15. Mr Cheung urged the Government to provide each of the children in the age group - estimated at 20,000 - a self-learning English language package.