Coveted school criticized over entry procedure

Local | Jane Cheung 5 Dec 2018

Parents voiced their displeasure towards Po Leung Kuk Choi Kai Yau School over what they claimed were chaotic arrangements for the admission process of primary one students.

Some students did not attend a second round interview, but were told they got the offer.

Parents thus raised concerns whether the school had made offers to the wrong students, or if it was a black box operation, or wasn't transparent enough.

However, commenting on a forum, one parent said it is common practice for high-profile schools to issue early acceptance offers to top students.

It is due to the school being worried that if these top students have to endure a lengthy wait for a second or third interview, they might opt for other schools instead.

Education sector lawmaker Ip Kin-yuen said it's not a weird arrangement, as the school might have spotted some outstanding students and decided to take them immediately, while those with average performance would have to go through further interviews.

Since the school is private, Ip said there are no regulations about admission procedures, and there is no right or wrong.

A large-scale discussion ensued on the Monday forum, after an anxious parent asked whether other parents have received the school's invitation for a third interview. To her surprise, some parents replied to her post saying they had received phone messages and e-mails from the school regarding the early acceptance of their children.

It has caused other parents to lambast the school for providing confusing and misleading information about the admission procedures, as they recalled the institution stating there would be three rounds of interviews during the parent's introduction seminar in September.

At the time, principal Lau Siu-ling said the first interview would be conducted in a highly causal manner, as teachers would tell stories and sing with the children.

Founded in 2002, the co-ed school is the SAR's first private and non-profit through-train facility, offering a 12-year bilingual curriculum, and with about 60 percent of its teaching staff being native English speakers, so spaces are highly coveted.

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