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2016 Territory-wide System Assessment Report submitted
     A spokesman for the Education Bureau (EDB) said today (November 9) that the Hong Kong Examinations and Assessment Authority (HKEAA) has submitted the report of the 2016 Territory-wide System Assessment (TSA). The HKEAA will provide school-level data to schools for feedback and improvement in learning and teaching.

     "Some 60,000 students at the Primary 3 and Secondary 3 levels took part in the TSA this year. Their performance in the three core subjects of Chinese Language, English Language and Mathematics is steady," the spokesman said.

     In February 2016, the Coordinating Committee on Basic Competency Assessment and Assessment Literacy proposed in its report on TSA review to launch the 2016 Tryout Study (Primary 3). The TSA items of Chinese Language, English Language and Mathematics at Primary 3 level this year were set with reference to the recommendations of the Working Group on Papers and Question Design under the Committee. Based on the territory-wide attainment rates and teachers' views collected in focus group meetings in the past few months, the modified assessment papers and question design maintained their reliability and validity, aligned with the requirements of basic competencies of Primary 3 students and met the spirit of the curriculum and students' learning needs.

     The spokesman said, "The Tryout Study, which is currently in progress, contains a comprehensive package of items and a series of professional support measures. Participating schools will receive school reports of different reporting formats according to their preference today. We will then provide further professional support measures to schools with the aim of facilitating the use of different data, including the TSA data, to provide feedback on learning and teaching. In addition, a detailed analysis of non-academic data gathered through questionnaires from schools, parents and students will be conducted to obtain a comprehensive and multi-perspective understanding of students' learning progress and needs. Schools' responses to the overall design and implementation of various measures of the Tryout Study have been positive."

     More than 50 schools from different districts, types (government, aided, Direct Subsidy Scheme and private) and sizes (i.e. about 10 per cent of the number of primary schools in the territory) took part in the Tryout Study. The HKEAA adopted statistical methodology to calculate the 2016 territory-wide basic competency attainment rates of the three core subjects of Chinese Language, English Language and Mathematics. As in previous years, the Primary 3 attainment rates this year were based on the basic competency standards set in 2004.

     The Committee and the EDB will continue to gather views and recommendations on the Tryout Study from various stakeholders through different channels including focus groups, questionnaire surveys, workshops and case studies, and will review and draw conclusions from related experience with a view to enhancing TSA arrangements and professional support measures in future.

     The spokesman added, "The TSA is a low-stakes assessment. It contains no information on an individual student's results, and would not be used to assess the performance of a school or rank a student. It aims to facilitate schools' understanding of students' basic competency levels as well as the strengths and areas for improvement of the three core subjects of Chinese Language, English Language and Mathematics at each key stage. Schools can develop appropriate curriculum plans and learning and teaching strategies to enhance students' learning effectiveness and achieve the objective of 'assessment for learning' through effective use of the school-level report."

     The EDB is working in close partnership with schools. The EDB will continue to support schools to facilitate "assessment for learning". Related strategies include promoting the use of Web-based Learning and Teaching Support, professional training for teachers and on-site school-based support services to promote sharing of good teaching practices among schools. Following the release of the 2016 TSA Report, theme-based seminars on promoting "assessment for learning" to introduce effective ways of using assessment data and information to promote learning and teaching will be held from mid-November to early December. Teachers can sign up via the EDB training calendar. The EDB will maintain communication with parents. Information on the TSA is disseminated through seminars, promotional videos, leaflets and other appropriate channels with a view to elaborating on the value and effectiveness of the TSA, clarifying and explaining general doubts about the TSA and providing further information on relevant misunderstandings. The materials have been uploaded to the EDB's website.

     The territory-wide percentages of students achieving basic competencies in the three subjects of Chinese Language, English Language and Mathematics from 2004 to 2016 are shown in the Annex. Details of the TSA and this year's results can be found on the HKEAA's website (www.bca.hkeaa.edu.hk).
Ends/Wednesday, November 9, 2016
Issued at HKT 12:37
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