Pupils at a special school in Shekkipmei are being forced to conduct computer and metalwork classes in the same room because of the collapse of a territory-wide school renovation programme. The Saviour Lutheran School, founded 27 years ago, had been scheduled for renovation. But a start to the work is uncertain following the halting of the Education Department's School Improvement Programme. The school has more than 160 students with mild or medium mental handicaps. There are 23 teachers. Despite the crowding, the school cannot expand even though there is unoccupied land next to the campus. 'We have been paying $250 a year for rent for 30 years for the land next to us, but it belongs to the Health Department and we can't touch it,' principal Yau Mui-chun said. The land is used for pupils' recreation. The school is among 109 ageing campuses facing similar difficulties. They were told by fax from the Education Department in October that their improvement projects had been suspended pending a review, because they were not cost-effective. President of the Professional Teachers' Union and Democratic Party legislator Cheung Man-kwong said: 'The move is depriving hundreds of children of the opportunity to learn in a quality environment. 'The department is being bureaucratic, rigid and is operating under the table.' Mr Cheung, who represents the education constituency, will table a motion to debate the issue in the Legislative Council next month. The union and four other education concern groups will launch a petition. They are urging schools to run newspaper advertisements condemning the freezing of the programme. Assistant Director for Education Peter Leung Pak-yam said: 'We are reviewing the programme as it may not be feasible to renovate a school built in the 1960s or 1970s according to present standards.' A report on the review of the programme is expected to be completed next month.