Some schools which have lost the right to teach in English are worried they will be unable to fill their classes. One has suffered a 95 per cent drop in applications for Form One places for the 1998-99 school year. Terence Chang Cheuk-cheung, principal of Jockey Club Ti-I College in Sha Tin, said it had received only 13 applications since December. 'The response is really bad. Last year at this time we had about 200 applications,' he said. 'As the deadline for application ends in late February, we doubt if we will have enough applicants to fill the places.' Most secondary schools have discretion to choose about 10 per cent of their Form One places, the rest are filled via the Education Department's central allocation. But the Sha Tin college, which emphasises art and physical education, has a free hand to select all of its Form One students. Last year, it received 700 applicants for its 200 Form One places. 'The poor response is because of the Education Department's decision to bar us from teaching in English from the next school year,' Mr Chang said. 'Some parents keep calling me, asking when the results of the appeal will be known.' St Antonius Girls' College in Yau Tong said it had only 14 applications, compared with 200 to 400 in past years. 'It's obvious that parents don't want their children to study in a school teaching in Chinese,' said vice-principal Yau Hing-wah. Joseph So Chi-chiu, head of Salesian English School in Shau Kei Wan, said even applications from its feeder primary school had dwindled. An Education Department vetting committee allowed only 100 schools to teach in English. Twenty schools that failed to get approval have applied to an appeals committee, of which 15 have formed a coalition calling for the 'discriminatory policy' to be changed. A joint-statement by the group called the mechanism defective and discriminatory and members felt they had been made scapegoats by it. The coalition will next week meet Executive Councillor Antony Leung Kam-chung, the Education Commission chairman from April. The 15 schools are: Madam Lau Kam Lung Secondary School; St Stephen's College; Law Ting Pong Secondary School; Jockey Club Ti-I College; Christian Alliance Cheng Wing Gee College; Cheung Sha Wan Catholic Secondary School; Maryknoll Fathers' School; Our Lady's College; Pope Paul VI College; Salesian English School; Shung Tak Catholic English College; St Antonius Girls' College; St Francis Xavier's School (Tsuen Wan); St Louis School; and Tak Nga Secondary School.