New Academic Structure medium-term review - first batch of recommendations announced

     The Education Bureau (EDB) today (April 15) announced the first batch of recommendations under the New Academic Structure (NAS) medium-term review.

     The NAS medium-term review was jointly launched by the EDB, the Curriculum Development Council (CDC) and the Hong Kong Examinations and Assessment Authority (HKEAA) in October 2013 with a view to addressing issues requiring more time and a holistic approach.

     After months of deliberation and consultation on the major issues under the NAS medium-term review, including school surveys conducted from January to March 2014, the first batch of recommendations for Chinese Language, Chinese Literature, Liberal Studies (Independent Enquiry Study) (IES) and Business, Accounting and Financial Studies (BAFS) were discussed and endorsed at the joint CDC-Public Examinations Board meeting held on April 10. The recommendations are summarised below:

Chinese Language
* introduction of 12 classical set texts at S4 in 2015/16, leading to the 2018 Hong Kong Diploma of Secondary Education (HKDSE) Examination.

Chinese Literature
* revision of two set texts at S4 in 2015/16, leading to the 2018 HKDSE Examination.

Liberal Studies (IES)
* adoption of a structured enquiry approach with clear guidelines for the conduct of IES;
* further streamlining arrangements, such as requiring candidates to submit only one final report for assessment and cancelling the submission of the Process mark;
* related modification of the IES assessment framework at S4 in 2014/15, leading to the 2017 HKDSE Examination.

Business, Accounting and Financial Studies
* adoption of separate grading and reporting of the subject results for candidates taking different elective modules with effect from the 2015 HKDSE Examination (for S6 students in 2014/15), with no change in the curriculum coverage, mode of assessment or question-setting of the papers;
* review of the existing curriculum and assessment framework of the trimmed BAFS curriculum (first examination to be conducted in 2016) and the implementation of separate grading and reporting of the subject results; and in parallel, to start the ground work for developing the separate subject(s);
* the ultimate way forward will be subject to thorough discussion and consultation by the end of 2016.

     Apart from the recommendations for the four subjects, the review of other major medium-term issues such as the holistic review of School-based Assessment to address issues of cross-subject co-ordination and workload, Applied Learning, as well as the enhancement of a balanced and diversified curriculum will continue. The last batch of medium-term recommendations will be made by July 2015.

     The Chairman of the CDC, Professor Kenneth Young said, "As a result of the concerted effort of relevant CDC and HKEAA Committees and the active engagement of all stakeholders, the first batch of medium-term recommendations of the NAS medium-term review have addressed the practical concerns of schools and teachers and will help to improve the implementation of the senior secondary curriculum and assessment, while holding steadfast to the ultimate goals of the senior secondary curriculum under the NAS, which promote learning-to-learn and whole-person development. The NAS review is an ongoing process for the betterment of student learning."

     The Chairman of the HKEAA, Mr Rock Chen said, "A well-designed curriculum supported by valid public assessment is indispensable for successful teaching and learning. The NAS review provides an excellent opportunity for the education community to reflect on various approaches to refine the curriculum and assessment framework. I am glad to see a lot of effort has been invested to enhance the curriculum and assessment practices, which in turn will ensure more reliable and effective assessment of the ability of senior secondary students."

     For more details about the first batch of the medium-term recommendations and the latest developments of the NAS Medium-term Review, the public are welcome to visit the EDB website (

     Briefing sessions on the recommendations for fine-tuning the senior secondary curriculum and assessment of Chinese Language, Chinese Literature, Liberal Studies (IES), as well as future development of BAFS will be held for schools from May to July 2014. Details of these sessions will be announced in due course.

Ends/Tuesday, April 15, 2014
Issued at HKT 16:10