Today is an historic day as the results of the last Hong Kong Certificate of Education Examination (HKCEE) for Form Five students will be released. Under the '3+3+4' New Senior Secondary (NSS) curriculum, the HKCEE has been phased out and the first Hong Kong Diploma of Secondary Education (HKDSE) exams will take place in 2012. HKCEE candidates, who failed to get the desired grades for Form Six places this year, have several options for further studies. Some may opt to retake HKCEE as private candidates next year, which the Hong Kong Examinations and Assessment Authority will organise. Further information can be found at www.hkeaa.edu.hk/en/hkcee . Because there will not be any Form Six admission next year, the Education Bureau will not offer any HKCEE Form Five repeating classes in government-run and aided schools, and those under the Direct Subsidy Scheme. Some private schools and tutoring centres will offer classes to prepare students to retake the HKCEE next year as private candidates, says Lit Ho-cheung, director of the Hok Yau Club's student guidance centre. A list of these schools is included in the club's Prospect Guide 2010. The club will operate an information hotline (2503 3399) until Saturday. Students leaving Form Five can also study in Secondary Five under the three-year NSS curriculum (Secondary Four to Secondary Six) and sit for the first HKDSE exams in 2012. In the 2010/11 school year, government-run and aided schools may admit students who choose to switch to Secondary Five, provided there are vacancies available. 'Form Five students may be able to do this at their schools. They should understand that the Secondary Five admission requirements of individual schools vary,' Lit says. Most government-run and aided schools have a 5 per cent quota for students repeating Secondary Five. Some secondary schools offer courses for Secondary Four to Secondary Six students to supplement the NSS curriculum. Targeting students who aspire to pursue an alternative NSS curriculum, these courses encompass work-based learning programmes in areas such as tourism and hospitality, and media writing and production. Further information is available at https://cd.edb.gov.hk/334map/html/sss.htm . Project Yi Jin provides another choice for students without five passes in the HKCEE. 'The advantage is that a student who has successfully completed Project Yi Jin will be awarded a certificate, which is equivalent to five passes in the HKCEE. Not only is this the minimum requirement for entry-level jobs at government departments and many private employers, it fulfils the basic requirement for sub-degree programmes,' says Shirley Chow, team leader of full-time programmes at the Li Ka Shing Institute of Professional and Continuing Education, Open University. All Project Yi Jin courses are organised by members of the Federation of Continuing Education in Tertiary Institutions (FCE). Courses are vocationally oriented and interactive. The Project Yi Jin programme consists of 600 contact hours, including 420 for seven core modules - Chinese, English I and II, Putonghua, mathematics in practice, information technology and communication skills - and 180 hours for three electives, Chow says. Full-time and part-time courses are offered. Full-time students must complete all modules at the same institution to obtain a certificate. Most full-time students can complete the programme in one year. FCE members recognise all Project Yi Jin certificates. Any graduate can apply for admission to these institutions to pursue a programme which requires five passes in the HKCEE. Form Five students without five passes in the HKCEE can also apply for the one-year, full-time foundation diploma programme focusing on business and IT, offered by the Youth College and managed by the Vocational Training Council (VTC). They can also enrol in the one-year, full-time diploma of vocational education programme, which covers a broad range of industries, also offered by the Youth College. Another alternative is the four-year, full-time higher diploma course offered by any institute of vocational education, says Leung Yam-shing, a VTC educational adviser. 'After their successful completion of either the foundation diploma, or diploma of vocational education programme, students can apply for an institute of vocational education's three-year higher diploma courses,' Leung says. Students with at least five passes, including Chinese and English, may move on to the three-year sub-degree programmes, after which they can apply for top-up degree programmes.