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Percentage of Hong Kong pupils getting secondary school place at 1 of their top 3 choices hits record high

September 08, 2022

Original Article: https://www.scmp.com/news/hong-kong/education/article/3186485/percentage-hong-kong-pupils-getting-secondary-school-place

Ninety-four per cent of Hong Kong pupils have been allocated one of their top three choices for secondary schools, a record high satisfaction rate since the system was revamped in 2007.

The Education Bureau on Monday said 49,448 eligible Primary Six children joined the secondary school places allocation system for the 2022-23 academic year, down about 2 per cent from last year’s estimated 50,700 pupils.

Pupils were allocated places at local secondary schools in two stages. The first batch of children were granted school places based on discretionary factors such as academic and interview performance, and those results were released in May. The rest had to take part in the computer-based central allocation.

The 94 per cent of 12-year-olds who were allocated one of their two discretionary place choices or one of their top three picks by central allocation was up from 92 per cent last year. Those receiving their top pick, at 83 per cent, was also a record high.

This year’s satisfaction rate was the highest since 2007 when a revised allocation system was implemented, which allowed students to apply directly to any two schools in the discretionary phase and to three outside their “school net” based on addresses in the central allocation phase.

But the number of pupils participating in the allocation system hit a five-year low amid an ongoing emigration wave, which Ricky Ng Wing-hung, principal of Buddhist Lim Kim Tian Memorial Primary School, said was the reason for the high success rate.

“Most of the students who left were mainly Primary Six and Five students,” he said. “It leads to more vacancies and thus less keen competition for secondary school placement.”

The bureau released the general results for the allocations on Monday and will let pupils know which schools accepted them on Tuesday. They can still try to apply to their preferred schools by visiting them in person, and Ng said he expected their chances of winning admission would be higher this year than in previous ones due to the overall decline in demand for spaces.

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