SCMP Saturday, August 5, 2000

Hi-tech options to avoid rush for Form Six places


Students will be able to check for Form Six vacancies on screen-display public telephones at all MTR and KCR stations and large shopping malls when the Hong Kong Certificate of Education Examination results come out on Wednesday.

The Internet would be more widely used to give out information to avoid a scramble at schools and colleges, Assistant Director of Education Susanna Cheung Sau-man said yesterday. "The arrangements this year are to assist HKCEE participants to seek Form Six places in public sector schools and as far as possible to continue sixth-form education in their original schools," Ms Cheung said.

The Education Department displayed vacancies on its official Web site last year. This year, it has extended the service to the Internet and an interactive voice response telephone hotline service.

The service, paid for by the Education Department, will start on Wednesday and continue for three months.

New World Cyberbase, which provides the service, has more than 700 power phones at MTR and KCR stations, the airport, Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre and some hotels and shopping malls.

Ms Cheung said the Internet service provider would increase the system's capacity to avoid last year's overloading problems. The vacancies will also be available at, the South China Morning Post 's Web site.

The total number of HKCEE candidates this year is 140,300, of whom 99,000 are full-time candidates. About 23,800 Form Six places are available in Government, aided and other schools.

On Thursday, it was revealed that a popular sixth-form college had taken out a $1 million insurance policy to protect itself against claims over any accidents in the scramble for school places on Wednesday.

Po Leung Kuk Vicwood K. T. Chong Sixth Form College, the first and only fully aided Form Six college in the SAR, will provide 360 Form Six school places.

A government Web site with information about 10,000 education courses has been set up for school leavers. More than 1,300 people visited the site at on the first day of its launch by the Education and Manpower Bureau yesterday. Users can find information about the courses, involving 44 subjects provided by about 200 organisations. The Labour Department's Careers Information Centre has extended office hours to provide advice for Form Five graduates on further studies and employment. The centres at the Southorn Centre in Wan Chai and the Cheung Sha Wan Government Offices in Cheung Sha Wan Road will open from 9am to 7pm on weekdays from Wednesday until August 22. Two hotlines have also been set up to help Form Five graduates looking for work.