26 October 2016
Admission to the private primary school is highly competitive. Photo:
Admission to the private primary school is highly competitive. Photo:

Primary school eases entry for kids of HK$1 mil note holders

Want to get your child into Primary 1 at St. Stephen’s College Preparatory School in the 2016/17 school year?

Your kid will have an edge if you’ve bought a HK$1 million fixed-term note (FTN) sold to benefit the school, Sky Post reported Wednesday.

The school said parents and sponsors may buy a 12-year non-interest-bearing, non-negotiable, non-transferable and unsecured FTN issued by St. Stephen’s Foundation Ltd., a registered Hong Kong charity.

Children of holders of the FTN will only be required to attend a single interview before being considered for a place in Primary 1.

Other kids face as many as three rounds of interviews to get into the private school in Stanley.

The school said it may need to draw lots to decide who can get their hands on one of the million-dollar notes, as the program is already oversubscribed two weeks after it was launched.

The funds raised by the sale of the FTNs will reportedly be used to build a new teaching block within the school’s campus.

It is due to be completed in time for the beginning of the 2016/2017 school year.

A spokesman for St. Stephen’s Foundation surnamed Lai said while the children of FTN holders only need to be interviewed once, they must still fulfill the various requirements for admission.

Ng Kam-chung, principal of St. Louis School, said programs that offer favorable terms for school admission based on a monetary outlay by parents will inevitably create inequality in the admission process.

Legislator Ip Kin-yuen, who represents the education sector, said they would widen the wealth gap in education over the long term.

The school was founded in 1938 and admits about 100 students each year to Primary 1, out of an average of 1,700 applicants.

The report quoted some parents as saying zero-interest-bearing term notes are better than outright donations, as they allow holders to recoup their capital after a fixed period.

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