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SED on Basic Competency Assessment Research Study
     Following is the transcript of remarks by the Secretary for Education, Mr Eddie Ng Hak-kim, at a media session before attending a Legislative Council (LegCo) Panel on Education meeting today (April 10):    
Reporter: Mr Ng, there are still a lot of complaints about over-drilling and over-practising, and that you are not answering to people opposed to the TSA (Territory-wide System Assessment) or BCA (Basic Competency Assessment Research Study). So what exactly are you doing to answer those people?
Secretary for Education: If you look at what was happening two years back versus the latest situation, my sense is the complaint about over-drilling, actually that problem and the noises are going down quite much. I believe it is because all the schools, principals, teachers and parents have paid special attention to it and worked together. Before the end of 2015, indeed I had sent out a memorandum to all the schools, recommending all schools to have an annual transparent homework policy, to be supported by parents, teachers as well as schools and, last but not least, some students as well if they have opinions. And I believe, I understand, today most schools already have what we call the annual transparent homework policy in place. That means what? That means parents are all participating. Everybody is trying to make sure all the exercise will carry good meanings in terms of teaching and learning.
     So I believe what happens right now is that if there are continuous problems of over-drilling, I will highly recommend the parents to talk to the principals and the Education Bureau. Our colleagues at the regional level will definitely follow up in case they are being contacted.
Reporter: So you do not see a need for a LegCo public hearing on BCA?
Secretary for Education: If you look at it, the BCA has been discussed pretty widely and regularly on all fronts. So if there is any particular occasion and so on, I will see no problem for the community's different segments to have continuous discussions on that. If you look at yesterday, there was another seminar, and before that there were quite a number of discussions as well. As I said, we also have at the district level, the 18 districts, the parent-teacher associations and so on - they also had their own gatherings. So it is a widely, widely participated and a widely, widely exchanged sort of topic around the community right now.
(Please also refer to the Chinese portion of the transcript.)
Ends/Monday, April 10, 2017
Issued at HKT 19:05
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