Following is the transcript of remarks by the Secretary for Education, Mr Eddie Ng Hak-kim, at a media session after receiving the preliminary recommendations from the Coordinating Committee on Basic Competency Assessment and Assessment Literacy today (February 4):
Secretary for Education: Today I am glad to have received the preliminary recommendations from the Coordinating Committee on Basic Competency Assessment and Assessment Literacy.
I would like to express my heartfelt thanks to all the committee members for their hard work in reviewing TSA (Territory-wide System Assessment) for the benefits of our students.
I understand that the Committee recognised the intent of TSA and the use of TSA data to provide feedback for improving learning and teaching. The Committee considered it important to keep conducting TSA. To avoid deviation when implementing TSA and to make concerted efforts with school stakeholders to remove over-drilling as well as undue pressure, and to allow the implementation to get back to the right track, the Committee has made a series of recommendations. The chairman and members of the Committee will introduce to you their recommendations in a press conference which will start in a couple of minutes.
I agree in principle and support the directions of the Committee's recommendations, such as inviting part of the schools to take part in a try-out arrangement plan to validate the revamped TSA papers and item design; introducing different reporting formats for schools to choose from, including a simplified version; strengthening EDB (the Education Bureau)'s internal guidelines stating clearly that TSA data will not be used for assessing schools' performance; enhancing training for teaching staff in areas of curriculum development and assessment literacy; providing schools with TSA-related professional support as well as public education; and promoting communication among all stakeholders and their understanding about TSA.
The Committee proposed that after concluding the experience of the 2016 try-out, the revised arrangements should be implemented territory-wide in 2017.
My team and I will look into each of the recommendations closely and map out the implementation arrangements accordingly. We will further inform the school sector once details of the arrangements are finalised. It may take two to three weeks to make it happen. Thank you.
Reporter: What would be the criteria for choosing schools that will take part? And why can't parents ask the same, other than talking to the ...?
Secretary for Education: Look at it from two angles. First of all, this full set of territory-wide data has its validity and value as long as it is for the full-population exercise. So if there is an individual selection, it would affect the reliability and validity of those data. Imagine you only have a group of students who would participate, and that would change the validity of the data when coming out as a whole. That is the background in terms of the professional side and perspective of the data. Second, if there are parents having difficulties and so on, I am sure one way or the other, those problems (would have been) experienced in the past as well, and I am sure the school sector, the school leaders, will be able to manage them together with the concerned parents.
(Please also refer to the Chinese portion of the transcript.)
Ends/Thursday, February 4, 2016
Issued at HKT 20:26