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Education Bureau welcomes Ombudsman's report

    The Education Bureau welcomed the direct investigation report on Special Examination Arrangements for Students with Specific Learning Difficulties (SpLD) released by The Ombudsman today (February 14) and would consider following up the various feasible recommendations.

    "We recognise the importance of providing special examination arrangements for students with SpLD. The recommendations of the Ombudsman are consistent with the bureau's prevailing policy and measures on integrated education, and we are pleased to note the Ombudsman's appreciation of our efforts in introducing and refining special examination arrangements for students with SpLD. We generally accept the Ombudsmanˇ¦s recommendations," a bureau spokesman said.

    "The major recommendations of the Ombudsman are in line with the various improvement measures being taken by the bureau and some have already been put in place.ˇ¨

    "One of these measures was the publication of the "Hong Kong Test of Specific Learning Difficulties in Reading and Writing for Junior Secondary School Students", which greatly facilitates the decision on special arrangements in internal and public exams. We will soon publish the "Hong Kong Chinese Language Abilities Assessment for Secondary School Students (for teachers' use), which will help teachers identify junior secondary school students at risk of having SpLD and facilitate the consideration of whether senior secondary students previously diagnosed to have SpLD are in need of special arrangements in public examinations," he said.

    "The bureau will continue to remind schools to provide appropriate special examination arrangements in meeting the special needs of students with SpLD through established mechanism that includes periodic inspections and school visits. At present, we are actively considering conducting another survey on special examination arrangements in primary and secondary schools."

    The teacher professional development framework in integrated education, which the Education Bureau started to implement this school year, will ensure that, by the 2011-02 school year, each ordinary school would have at least one Chinese and one English language teacher with training in the thematic course on teaching students with specific learning difficulties.

    In the coming school year, the number of additional teachers provided for schools admitting a significant number of academic low achievers (including Band 3 students) will be increased from the 500s to the 700s.  Schools are encouraged to deploy these additional teachers flexibly to cater for students' diverse learning needs.

    The bureau has commissioned an overseas consultant to review the educational psychology  service and has plans to strengthen its educational psychology services starting from the 2008-09 school year. The bureau is supporting the University Grants Commission to fund an increased number of student intake into professional educational psychology training programmes, to meet the demand for this service in coming years.

    The bureau has been collaborating with the Hong Kong Examinations and Assessment Authority to conduct workshops for professional psychologists, teachers and parents to enhance public awareness since the 2006-07 and 2007-08 school years. The bureau is about to publish a Guide on Integrated Education with an edition for teachers and another for parents, to enhance their understanding and skills in supporting students with special educational needs, including those with SpLD.

    The spokesman said the bureau would continue to keep in view the needs of students, parents and teachers, and review the implementation of various measures to more suitably cater for the needs of students with SpLD.

    The bureau noted the Ombudsman's follow-up direct investigation into support services for students with SpLD and would give its full co-operation.

Ends/Thursday, February 14, 2008
Issued at HKT 12:15


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