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Tuesday, Apr 23, 2024

St. Charles School denied permission to take in primary one students

St. Charles School denied permission to take in primary one students

Sixty-nine-year-old St. Charles School in Kennedy Town becomes the latest school that has been denied permission to take in primary one pupils in the next academic year as it failed to reach the threshold of recruiting 16 children for a class.
It is understood that the Education Bureau informed the school that it would have no primary one class starting in September of the new school year.

Parents whose children were initially allocated to the school through the Central Allocation stage have been receiving calls from the bureau that they need to pick another school. Otherwise, the bureau’s computer system will randomly allocate their kids to other schools.

A mother named So said her older daughter is now studying in primary two at the school, and her younger daughter was taken in as a primary one student last November through the discretionary places admission.

However, she received a call from the bureau last Friday (Apr 28) that the school has been denied permission to take in primary one students. So was also required to arrange for her daughter to participate in the Central Allocation stage and submit the application form by Friday (May 5).

As the tight schedule ran into the Labor Day golden week holidays, So had less than a week to inspect other primary schools with her younger daughter.

The school’s principal, Li Wing-kai, said they had recruited 15 students so far through the Central Allocation and the discretionary places admission – falling one short of the 16-children threshold.

He added although fewer students came to Hong Kong during the pandemic, more and more students are being added to classes since the border reopening. He also felt frustrated as the school appealed to the bureau thrice but all in vain.

Li said the school has rejected options like closure or merging with another school proposed by the bureau and will insist on its operation, pointing to the school's rich history and saying the school is popular among parents.

The school said they had submitted a development plan to the bureau as they plan to take in primary one students again in the following school year, 2024/25.

St. Charles School was founded by French reverend Joseph Madeore in 1954. It became a government-subsidized primary school in 1967 and a whole-day school in September 2005.

Two other schools that have been denied permission to take in primary one students earlier are Po Yan Oblate Primary School in Wong Tai Sin and CCC Cheung Chau Church Kam Kong Primary School on Cheung Chau.

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