Form Five graduates criticised the pilot joint Form Six admissions scheme as being chaotic and time-consuming. However, organisers said some teething problems were to be expected. The joint admissions scheme was initiated by 19 secondary schools in Tai Po. Fifth former Chan Mei-tak said the joint admissions scheme failed to help students find Form Six places efficiently. 'It was very chaotic. Parents and friends could not get permission to enter the (admissions) centre and they stayed outside for a long time. 'Worse still, some of my classmates spent at least two hours waiting for an interview and they still weren't offered places,' she said. Mei-tak also complained schools joining the scheme did not give priority to students in Tai Po district. 'Many students from the northern part of the district also flooded the centre to scramble for places. That made schools raise their entrance requirements and increased competition. 'I'd prefer to approach schools directly because it saves time and they could tell you your chances of admission immediately,' she said. Fung Ching-lung, another fifth former from Tai Po, also failed to find a place through the scheme even though she obtained 16 points. 'I tried to apply for places at schools which had lower re quirements before. However, they lifted their requirements with the flood of students. That made my application fail,' she said. The 18-year-old also complained of chaos at the centre. 'Many people thronged the centre and parents were forced to stay outside. I couldn't hear the announcements. The interview was time-consuming and useless because some schools were assured of recruiting students with better results. 'Time is very important in the search for a place,' she said. However, Tai Po Secondary School Heads Association chairman Joshua Yau Chung-wan said: 'The scheme ran smoothly on the first day of operation.' He said the scheme could save students' time searching for places and helped schools to fill their places more quickly. He admitted some schools had lifted their entrance requirement following the flood of applications. 'Students should understand that with the launch of the scheme, students have first- hand information on the schools' places and schools can also attract more students with good results. It brings mutual benefits,' he said. To perfect the admissions scheme, he suggested setting up more admission centres in different parts of the district. Chester Kwok Chi-hung, principal of Assembly of God Hebron Secondary School, said there had been some problems with the announcement system and the lack of air-conditioners at the centre. 'It's quite reasonable to find that a pilot scheme had some chaos at the beginning. However, we will review its operation in the near future for improvements.' Mr Kwok said so far students and principals had been positive about the scheme and he hoped it would be extended to other districts. Acting Assistant Director of Education Lily Lai Shui-kuen said the Education Department would consider extending the scheme. Tai Po Holy Word Secondary School acted as admissions centre, with counters for the 19 participating schools, so students could obtain information and process their applications for Form Six places.