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LCQ20: Pathways for students taking the 2010 HKCEE
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     Following is a question by the Hon Cheung Man-kwong and a written reply by the Secretary for Education, Mr Michael Suen, in the Legislative Council today (October 21):

Question:

     In the past, those Secondary 5 ("S5") graduates who were not allocated Secondary 6 ("S6") places had the opportunity of repeating S5, as well as re-taking in the following year the Hong Kong Certificate of Education Examination ("HKCEE") and applying for S6 places.  As the last HKCEE will be held in 2010, candidates with unsatisfactory results may only re-take as private candidates in the 2011 HKCEE, which will be specially organised for them.  In this connection, will the Government inform this Council:

(a) of the number of repeaters in HKCEE in each of the past five years and, among them, the number and percentage of those who obtained S6 places;

(b) in respect of S5 graduates in the current year who fail to obtain S6 places for the 2010-2011 academic school,

(i) what further education pathways will be available to them, and how these pathways differ from those of the past;

(ii) whether they will have the opportunity of repeating S5 in government and aided secondary schools and taking the 2011 HKCEE as school candidates; if so, of the details; if not,the reasons for them being deprived of this choice and right;

(iii) whether they will have the opportunity of repeating S5 in private day schools or evening schools and taking the 2011 HKCEE as private candidates; if so, of the details; if not, the reasons for that;

(iv) whether they can choose to switch to Secondary 4 under the New Senior Secondary ("NSS") Academic Structure; if they can, how the authorities ensure that sufficient places are available in schools to accommodate these students; and

(v) whether they can choose to switch to S5 under the NSS Academic Structure; if they can, how the authorities ensure that sufficient places are available in schools to accommodate these students and appropriate subjects are offered to them; and

(c) given that S6 places under the current academic structure will no longer be provided in 2011, what further education pathways will be available then to those candidates scoring 14 points or more in HKCEE to facilitate their articulation to local universities; how the authorities assess and appropriately address these candidates' demand for studying in government and aided secondary schools?


Reply:

Chairman,

(a) The number (and percentage) of repeaters in HKCEE who obtained S6 places in the past five years is set out at the Annex.

(b) (i) For those students who fail to obtain S6 places after taking the 2010 HKCEE, they still enjoy the choice of multiple pathways as in the past.  Depending on their interests and abilities and subject to the respective entrance requirements, they may consider different education pathways, such as sub-degree programmes (including Pre-Associate Degree, diploma, etc.), vocational education and training courses, Project Yi Jin, Youth Pre-employment Training Programme, Youth Work Experience and Training Scheme or studying overseas.

(ii) There will no longer be any S6 admission exercise in 2011.  In order to avoid giving false expectations to the students, EDB will not offer any HKCEE S5 repeating classes in         government, aided and DSS schools.  Students may only take the 2011 HKCEE as private candidates.

(iii)@Subject to the demand of the market, private day schools or evening schools may offer classes to prepare S5 repeaters for re-taking the 2011 HKCEE as private candidates.

(iv) In principle, government, aided, DSS and private secondary schools with S4 vacancies may admit repeaters who wish to switch to study the NSS curriculum in S4.  However, students are strongly encouraged to study S5 under the NSS curriculum instead of spending one more year studying S4 because there is sufficient curriculum continuity between the HKCEE and the NSS curriculum.  Students should not have much difficulty in picking up the NSS courses.

(v) In the 2010/11 school year, government and aided secondary schools may admit students who switch to study in S5 under the NSS academic structure provided that there are vacancies in the S5 classes.  We will allow flexibility for the 5% repeater quota requirement so that the school could offer more places to meet the demand of S5 students who wish to switch to the NSS curriculum.  EDB has also taken note of the issue of 2010 S5 transfer students.  We are now estimating the number of students involved and working closely with schools on possible solutions to assist those students who wish to continue their studies in local schools.  As regard the matching of subjects, current S5 students taking HKCEE normally study 4 to 5 elective subjects in addition to Chinese, English and Mathematics. If they switch to the NSS curriculum, they are required to choose only 2 to 3 elective subjects.  They have therefore a great chance of studying the same elective subjects that they took for the HKCEE.  As there is sufficient curriculum continuity between the HKCEE and the NSS curriculum, students should not have much difficulty in adapting to the NSS curriculum.

(c) Since there would be no S6 places of the existing system from the 2011/12 school year, repeaters taking 2011 HKCEE may choose to apply for local sub-degree programmes (including Pre-Associate Degree, diploma, etc.) in accordance with their abilities and interests.  The relevant course providers will continue to recognise students' results in 2011 HKCEE.  Upon completion of the sub-degree programmes, the graduates may apply for admission to top-up degree programmes if they meet the requirements of relevant institutions.  EDB will continue to liaise with the organisations that offer sub-degree programmes or vocational education and training programmes to cope with the future demand.  If students wish to continue their studies at the secondary level, they may also consider switching to the NSS curriculum at S5 level in the 2010/11 school year.

Ends/Wednesday, October 21, 2009
Issued at HKT 16:01

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