Diocesan Boys' School hopes to stop best students defecting to Li Po Chun An elite Mong Kok boy school's plan to introduce the International Baccalaureate aims to stem a brain drain of its brightest pupils, its principal and an influential member of its school committee said this week. Liberal Party legislator and Diocesan Boys' School committee member Tommy Cheung Yu-yan said the idea had been floated years ago and aimed to stop the school losing students to other institutions such as Li Po Chun United World College in Ma On Shan. 'Many have left by Form Three or Four,' Mr Cheung said. 'Normally, the best students leave first. You'd think if they haven't left by Form Four, they're going to stay. But then they run off to Li Po Chun after the HKCEE.' The school last week announced it planned to offer the IB diploma programme as an optional alternative to the local senior secondary curriculum in 2009, and would consider opening its doors to older girls interested in taking the IB. Principal Terence Chang Cheuk-cheung said the school sent a letter of intent to the International Baccalaureate Organisation, the curriculum's governing body, earlier this year and had met with at its regional office in Singapore. But it would need to apply for formal authorisation as an IB World School before teaching could begin. Mr Chang stressed the IB would be optional and that not all students would be able to adapt to it. 'The course requires students to be very self-motivated,' he said. 'If they don't have strong self-motivational skills they will find it tough.' Initially, the curriculum will be offered to two of the school's eight senior secondary classes, but this might increase later on. Higher fees would be charged for the IB because of the higher teacher-student ratio, but the school had yet to finalise a figure, he said. Mr Chang estimated parents would need to pay between HK$48,000 and HK$58,000 a year. Direct subsidy scheme schools no longer qualify for government funding if annual fees are more than HK$58,000. The school's fees are now HK$38,000 for senior secondary students. Wong Jing, 24, a former DBS pupil who moved to Li Po Chun after Form Five, said the IB would be good for the school. 'I loved my school, and the decision to leave was quite a dilemma,' he said. 'If the IB had been available, there's more chance I would have stayed.' Ching Cheung-ying, a teacher at DBS, said staff were still unclear about what the IB would entail. The IB diploma is a two-year course aimed at producing independent thinkers with broad knowledge. Students are required to take six subjects, including two languages, and one from each of four curriculum areas, covering humanities, sciences, maths and arts. They must also write a 4,000-word essay, complete a course on theory of knowledge and do a minimum 150 hours of creativity, action and service.