Two more schools accused of having ‘phantom students’
Schools in the New Territories said to have boosted numbers to try to get more government funding; one principal unable to fully explain this anomaly
Two more schools in the New Territories are alleged to have “tweaked” the number of students to try to secure more government funding.
Caritas Tuen Mun Marden Foundation Secondary School had 56 Secondary One students in three classes in September last year but after the Education bureau counted the number of students later in the month, eight of the students were promoted to higher grades, ranging from Secondary Two to Four, Apple Daily reported.
Five of the promoted students came from the Philippines, India, Nepal and Pakistan, while the rest were from Hong Kong or mainland China.
Without these eight students, the school could only have had two Form One classes, instead of three.
The school principal said the students were not “phantom students” – they couldn’t finish the test papers when they were admitted at the school last year.
However, when a reporter asked why the students were able to be promoted to higher forms in such a short period of time, the principal refused to comment.
Meanwhile, at least three students at Tun Yu School in Yuen Long in the New Territories were found to have been absent for at least 100 days – but they were promoted every year, Ming Pao Daily reported.
The principal said it kept their places at the school in case the students decided to come back.
Education officials said the school should not reserve places for students absent for so long without good reason.
Kevin Yeung, the secretary for education, said on Tuesday that more checks would be done in the coming school year.
Earlier this month, 30 “phantom students” were discovered at Hing Tak School in Tuen Mun, boosting the headcount in the government-subsidized school for more funding. The school principal was later sacked.