The results of discretionary places allocation at local primary schools were released on Monday morning with many parents in North district expressing their discontent with hereditary policies and the intake of cross-border students.

According to an Education Bureau spokesman, 53,678 children are applying for discretionary places in government and aided primary schools this year and 22,888 of them will be offered a place.

Fanling Wai, North District. Photo: Wikicommons.

The competition for local primary school placements is fierce with many cross-border students able to receive an offer thanks to the “hereditary scheme”. Under the programme, a student whose siblings are currently enrolled at a local school is automatically admitted.

A local parent, Mr Wan, told RTHK that the hereditary scheme was unfair as it meant that local students would have to fight for places with cross-border students.

Wai Chow Public School (Sheung Shui). Photo: Google Street View.

The principal of Sheung Shui’s Wai Chow Public School Wong Wing-keung told Commercial Radio that, out of the 78 students they admitted, 20 cross-border students and 28 local students were assigned a place under the hereditary scheme. He also said that with the expansion of cross-border school nets, it is expected that the ratio of cross-border students the school take in would decrease, as parents would choose school webs further away from the border to increase their chances of success.

Mr Wong, who lives in Shenzhen and whose son was not allocated a place in a primary school in Hong Kong, said that the education system in Hong Kong was better than the mainland and that he will continue trying with other cross-border schools.

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Karen is a journalist and writer covering politics and legal affairs in Hong Kong for HKFP. She has also written features on human rights, public space, regional legal developments, social and grassroots activism, and arts & culture. She is a BA and LLB graduate from the University of Hong Kong.