SCMP Thursday, June 1, 2000

Warning to parents on disclosure


Only two cases of parents declaring false home addresses to increase their children's chances of securing places at prominent primary schools have been substantiated over the past five years.

According to an Education Department report, 12 complaints regarding suspected false addresses were made between the 1995/96 and 1999/2000 school years.

Eight of the complaints were unsubstantiated and the other two were unable to be verified.

Under the present Primary One admission system, 35 per cent of children are placed at schools according to their home addresses, with the rest discretionary.

A proposal raised by the Education Commission, an advisory body, to reduce the discretionary places from 65 per cent to 15 per cent is expected to encourage parents to move home or use false addresses to improve their chances of enrolling their children in prestigious schools.

The vice-president of the Professional Teachers' Union, Au Pak-kuen, said: "I hope the parents understand that they will risk criminal liability for providing fake addresses."

Parents are required to submit documentary proof of the reported residential address, such as utility bills.