THE angry mother of an HIV-infected child yesterday confronted an embarrassed Education Department official at a public forum, forcing her to back down on her claim that all children infected with the AIDS virus had been found a school place. The mother, whose child was forced out of school, fumed when the official told an audience at the AIDS and Education forum that all infected children - as far as she knew - had been offered a place in a normal school. In an angry outburst, the mother challenged the official to back up her claim. As the audience watched, Ms Jane Cheung, acting principal inspector of special education, told the mother the department had successfully persuaded schools to accept infected children. But Mrs Chu (not her real name) embarrassed the surprised official by citing the well-publicised case of Ming Tsai. Last night, the mother of Ming Tsai, who was kicked out of school two years ago when a Sha Tin school headmaster learned of his infection, confirmed the 12-year-old had still to be placed in a normal school. But a relieved Ms Cheung was let off the hook when it was suggested during the forum, organised by voluntary group AIDS Concern, that only general questions should be asked. Last night Mrs Chu, who was the first mother to speak up in a Sunday Morning Post campaign which won financial assistance for Hongkong's 61 haemophiliacs and their families, said: ''I risked being identified because I could no longer bear what I heard. The longer I listened, the angrier I became.'' Mrs Chu claims her 17-year-old son has not been allowed back to a normal school since he was kicked out at the age of 13 on grounds he was academically weak. When Education Department officials later discovered the boy was also infected with the AIDS virus, finding him a school became impossible, she claimed. ''There are so many delays and excuses. Officials told me to wait patiently for good news. I waited, but when my son passed the age of 15 it suddenly dawned on me that he no longer came under the auspices of the Education Department. ''Now he is still sitting at home. So much time has been wasted, and he will never be placed. ''I spoke up because I want to make sure other infected haemophiliacs such as Ming Tsai would not have to follow in my footsteps,'' she said. Ming Tsai's mother first spoke out against the school last year. But she said ''the publicity has not helped''. ''My son is only given a total of five hours a week. And it was not in a normal classroom setting. He is studying with two other children. ''At first, he was given only 21/2 hours a week. If the department is claiming publicly the problem is solved, it is not true because the truth is my son is still to be placed in a normal school where he can go every day.'' Ming Tsai's mother said the Education Department had told the family to wait until September, when the new school year started. ''I think they are doing that because they think we fear publicity. In a way, it is true. ''My husband accepts the Education Department's arrangement because he fears further publicity will cost him his job. I don't see why the Education Department cannot find my son a school to go to if it has tried hard enough.'' The Education Department pledged to find a school for Ming Tsai and other children carrying the AIDS virus soon after the case was revealed last December. It later said an agreement had been reached with the parents to ensure the boy could continue his schooling, but refused to give details claiming it would jeopardise the boy's privacy. Ms Cheung yesterday admitted Ming Tsai had still not been placed in a normal school, but said it was an arrangement accepted by the parents. She also said it was her belief that it was inappropriate to talk about an individual case in an open forum. She said although the Director of Education had the power to force a school to accept a child, the department tended not to exercise the right. ''We do not want to be criticised for forcing schools. We would like to persuade and counsel the school.'' Asked about the predicament of the 17-year-old, she said the case had not come to her attention. During the meeting, Ms Cheung asked Mrs Chu whether she was a mother of an infected child, but Mrs Chu would not reveal her identity.