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Transcript of remarks by Secretary for Education

     Following is the transcript of remarks by the Secretary for Education, Mr Eddie Ng Hak-kim, at a media session after attending a meeting with school principals and parents in North District on the revised arrangement of the Primary One Admission System today (August 15):

Reporter: What are the advantages of the new system?

Secretary for Education: In view of the experience we have obtained out of the past exercise, there are two particular concerns. The first one relates to one or two districts absorbing most of the heat while others may not. This is an uneven distribution of the drastic increase of cross-boundary students (CBS). The second one relates to the availability of a better and wider choice for CBS' parents and students. The current one works like this: Other than the free admission stage (i.e. Discretionary Places Admission Stage) which takes about 50 per cent of the places of individual schools, another one is Central Allocation. On the Central Allocation stage, the current practice is that CBS can only pick one school net and then work with that one. That is very limited and leads to certain over-concentration of one or two districts. Therefore, in view of these two, we have made modifications for the 2014 allocation system. On Part B of the Central Allocation stage (i.e. restricted school choices), from September onwards, we are advising, actually distributing a circular memorandum to all schools to make sure they understand that we will be able to offer a particular school list for CBS. This school list will cover eight school nets, instead of one school net. This is the first one.  

     The second one we will further expand by including those schools which are not in the eight nets, however they have already been teaching CBS and their school bus arrangements are already ready. We will then encourage them to apply for being put on the list as well. So when you add the two together, that will give CBS a lot more options and choices. At this stage, we will ask those schools in the eight school nets to set aside a minimum of two places per class. If one school is running four Primary One classes, it means about eight places. As I said, other than the eight school nets, by including the additional schools through application, it will be able to provide wider choices and more even distribution across districts.    

(Please also refer to the Chinese portion of the transcript.)

Ends/Thursday, August 15, 2013
Issued at HKT 15:15


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