Secretary for Education Michael Suen Ming- yeung has vowed to continue efforts to encourage 16 government secondary schools with five Form One classes to cut one.
That came a day after Lam Chiu-ying, a former director of the Hong Kong Observatory and an alumnus of the government-run King's College, claimed in a blog that the government's proposal will make it harder for students from grassroots families to get into elite schools.
Suen hit back yesterday, saying a drop in the student population is a problem facing the whole territory. "It could lead to social unrest if it can't be handled effectively," he said. "Schools cannot get off the hook."
Suen did not say if government schools will have to cut Form One classes but said that those against the idea should propose ways to deal with the declining student population.
Education Bureau figures show the Form One population will drop from 75,400 in the 2009-2010 year to 53,900 in 2016-2017. And with 34 students in a class, the 30percent drop means 630 fewer classes.
While classes will be cut, Suen said, it will not hurt someone's chances of enrolling at a first-choice school as there will be fewer students.
King's College principal Nancy Chan Woo Mei-hou said the school's management board is undecided on whether to co-operate. STAFF REPORTER