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EDB works closely with concerned parties to assist students stranded in HK

     The Education Bureau (EDB) today (April 21) held a meeting with the British Council and the Hong Kong Examinations and Assessment Authority (HKEAA) on arrangements to assist Hong Kong students studying in the UK being stranded here due to cancelled and delayed flights.

     An EDB spokesman said, "We are pleased to note that as airports in Europe and the United Kingdom have gradually reopened, the situation keeps improving and students are returning to the UK provided the situation remains stable.  

     "To address the needs of those students who are unable to return to the UK to resume classes or take open examinations due to the large back-log of passengers, we are working closely with the British Council and HKEAA, in particular on contingency plans for students due to take public examinations," the spokesman said.

     The spokesman said that for students taking public examinations:

* The International Baccalaureate (IB) examinations are due to start in early May.  The IB Asia Pacific Office has agreed that under the circumstances that students are unable to board their scheduled flights, these students can take the exams in IB schools in Hong Kong, and several schools will be willing to host the exams for these students if necessary.

* The General Certificate of Secondary Education (GCSE) examinations and the A-Levels Examinations are due to start in mid May.  As airlines are giving priority to students who need to sit for open examinations upon resumption of their flights, students should be able to return to the UK in time to take their GCSE and A-Levels Examinations.  The British Council is liaising with schools in the UK, HKEAA and examination centres in Hong Kong to explore the possibility of candidates sitting their paper exams in registered examination centres here should they be unable to return to the UK in time.  For students taking practical examination such as Art, Drama or Oral Language examinations, the UK Examination Boards have indicated that these can be rescheduled where possible.

     As the situation is unprecedented and is affecting a large number of international students, UK schools will be reasonable and flexible in their response to students' individual needs and students stranded in Hong Kong will not be penalized.

     "We are pleased that some UK schools have been providing alternative arrangements for students such as arranging remote teaching and learning channels and revising the examination schedule.

     "Students and parents are advised to keep in close contact with their schools on detailed arrangements.

     "The British Council has issued a set of frequently asked questions and answers, and is updating their website on the latest development.  We will continue to monitor the situation and stand ready to assist these stranded students as far as possible," the EDB spokesman added.

Ends/Wednesday, April 21, 2010
Issued at HKT 21:32


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