Two primary schools facing closure have been given a reprieve after the government accepted their plans to merge with nearby schools. However, the merger plans mean that the schools will be taken over by different sponsoring bodies. The schools were among 104 which had been ordered to stop admitting Primary One pupils after they failed to reach the minimum admission of 23 students since the policy was introduced in 2003. While saving the endangered schools from being axed, the mergers will also enable their partner schools to switch from half-day to whole-day schooling. From the beginning of the 2006-7 school year, the afternoon section of Tak Sun Primary School in Jordan will take over the Chow Clansmen Association School in Tai Kok Tsui, which was ordered to close new admissions in 2004. In Sha Tin, Yan Ping Industrial and Commercial Association Lee Ng Sui-On Memorial School will combine with the afternoon section of Kowloon City Baptist Church Hay Nien Primary School, also from the beginning of the next school year. Lee Ng Sui-on was stopped from offering Primary One in 2003. Following the merger, Chow Clansmen will convert to a Catholic school, while Lee Ng Sui On will adopt Hay Nien's Baptist faith. However, Stephen Lee Bun-sang, supervisor of Tak Sun School said there would still be continuity with the old management. 'We are taking over the sponsorship of the school,' Father Lee said. 'But there will still need to be representation from their side.' Under the terms of the merger agreement, Chow Clansmen Association would have the right to appoint members to the school's management committee, he said. Following the merger, the school will switch from being co-educational to boys-only. Girls already there will be able to finish primary school. From next year, the original Tak Sun will begin to phase in whole-day schooling. Lee Chui-on, principal of Hay Nien's afternoon section, said that Lee Ng Sui-on would be run in partnership between the two sponsoring bodies, although it would be registered in the Baptist church's name. 'We will be taking a greater number of classes, so we will have more places on the management committee,' he said. A spokeswoman for the EMB said she was not able to comment on how many merger applications the bureau was considering. Since 2003, 104 schools have been ordered to stop admitting Primary One students: 51 in the first year; 31 in 2004; and 22 this year. These schools would have been expected to close within three years.