Information Paper

Implementation of Whole-day
Primary Schooling


This paper outlines the progress of the implementation of whole-day primary schooling.


2.Whole-day schooling is widely recognised as the appropriate mode of operation for primary schools. Since 1993, all new primary schools operate on a whole-day basis where the supply and demand situation permits. Existing schools are encouraged with incentives to change to whole-day operation where they have sufficient accommodation for conversion and the demand and supply situation in their districts permit.

3.In the 1996/97 school year (s.y.), about 65,750 pupils (16%) studied in 180 whole-day government and aided primary schools (24%). In October 1996, we informed the then LegCo Panel on Education of our plan to increase the percentage of pupils studying on a whole-day basis to about 40% (and the corresponding percentage of whole-day primary schools to 48%) by year 2001. We explained that the major constraint of speeding up the programme of whole-day primary schooling was the shortfall of school sites, especially in some built-up urban areas.

Present position

4.We have been making preparations to achieve the announced target and at the same time exploring the feasibility of enhancing this target.

Achieving the announced target

5.The Education Department (ED) has drawn up an implementation plan to convert about 140 existing uni-sessional/bi-sessional schools to whole-day operation without the need for new school buildings over the period 1997/98 to 2001/02 s.y. Of these 140 schools, about 100 will be converted by administrative measures including persuasion, packing classes and phasing out one session. Around 40 will be converted by reverting former school premises to primary schools and providing additional classrooms in existing school premises.

6.Following ED's persuasion, 37 existing uni-sessional/bi-sessional schools will convert to whole-day primary schooling, from the 1997/98 s.y. The latest situation is as follows:

1996/97 s.y.1997/98 s.y.
No. of government and aided primary schools760743
No. of whole-day primary schools (%) 180 (24%)208 (28%)
No. of pupils studying on a whole-day basis (%)65,750 (16%) 83,918 (21%)

The distribution of whole-day schools by district in the 1997/98 s.y. is shown at the Annex .

7.ED has also been making preparations to build 18 new school buildings between 1999/00 and 2001/02 to enable 36 bi-sessional schools to turn whole-day operation.

Possible enhancement of the announced target

8.In the hope to speed up the implementation of whole-day primary schooling, we have been collaborating with other bureaux and departments, including Planning, Environment and Lands Bureau, Housing Bureau, Planning Department, Architectural Services Department and Fire Services Department, to find ways to more fully utilise the existing land resource for schools and to increase such resource.

9.The areas being considered include restructuring the school zone system, making school designs more land-efficient, and developing smaller schools to make use of smaller sites.

10.Apart from the general shortage of school sites, we need to take into account two other factors in considering the feasibility of substantially enhancing the target for whole-day primary schooling in the near future. These are the latest population projections based on the 1996 bi-census results and a possible increase in the number of eligible children arriving Hong Kong in the next few years. We will closely monitor the situation.

11.We hope to conclude our consideration soon and be able to make known more details in the next few months.

Education and Manpower Bureau
August 1997


Whole-day primary schools in the 1997/98 school year (s.y.)

DistrictNo. of primary schools in the 1997/98 s.y.No. of whole-day primary schools in the 1997/98 s.y.No. of whole-day primary schools in the 1996/97 s.y.Improvement in the past year
Central & Western2385 +3
Wan Chai2188 0
Hong Kong East4766 0
Southern21108 +2
Yau Tsim Mong4087 +1
Kowloon City45107 +3
Sham Shui Po3732 +1
Wong Tai Sin3899 0
Kwun Tong45119 +2
Kwai Tsing46108 +2
Tsuen Wan3264 +2
Tuen Mun631313 0
Yuen Long702624 +2
North562418 +6
Tai Po461310 +3
Shatin631919 0
Sai Kung261010 0
Islands241413 +1

Note: All numbers refer to government and aided primary schools