New banding scheme fails to prevent traditional elite schools taking the honours in HKCEE results There were tears of joy and despair yesterday when the results of the Hong Kong Certificate of Education Examination were handed out to 120,000 students. For those with at least 14 points there was instant elation - they will be able to apply right away to continue studying at their own schools. But those who just missed the cut face an anxious wait to see if they will be able to secure a Form Six place. And nearly 7,000 day school pupils failed to pass a single subject. 'I got 11 points,' said Alice Chan, of Po Leung Kuk Li Shing Pik College in Tsuen Wan, as she fought to contain her emotions. 'We are under so much pressure in this class, because there are a lot of good students.' Twenty-five students scored 10 A grades - the highest number in a decade. Most were from traditional elite schools - quashing fears their results would be dragged down by a change in the way school places were allocated when this year's graduates entered Form One. Queen's College in Causeway Bay came top, producing six students with perfect scores. Other leading schools included Diocesan Girls' School in Jordan, St Paul's Co-Educational College and St Joseph's College in Mid-Levels. English-medium schools in the New Territories also did well, with two straight-A pupils at schools in Tuen Mun and Yuen Long, plus one each in Sha Tin and Tai Wai. Students who entered Form One in 2000 were streamed into three ability bands rather than five, which prompted many to predict the top schools would have trouble maintaining their level of achievement due to the greater student diversity. Vincent Li Lok-yin, principal of Queen's College, said that had not been the case and 'our overall results have improved'. Leung Cheung-hung, head of St Joseph's College, said his students had earned 312 As - its best ever performance. The heads of some lower-banded Chinese-medium schools said their results had been given a boost by the change in banding. Tai Hay-lap, principal of Yan Oi Tong Tin Ka Ping Secondary School, Tuen Mun, said he had seen a 'remarkable improvement' at the school. 'It's not because we had large value-added programmes but because of the intake,' he said. Chan Hsu Show-chee, principal of Po Leung Kuk Lee Shing Pik College, a Chinese-medium school in Tsuen Wan, said her students did especially well in Chinese, English and maths. The pass rate in English leapt from 59 per cent last year to nearly 74 per cent. She attributed this to the recruitment of teaching assistants and English teachers, which had enabled smaller classes. Education minister Arthur Li Kwok-cheung said dividing schools into three streams had meant students were being given more opportunities. Cheung Kwok-wa, associate dean of the University of Hong Kong's faculty of education, said the slight improvement made across all subjects was a positive sign. 'It shows very clearly that ... moving from five bands to three was a good decision.'