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LCQ9: Review on Territory-wide System Assessment

     Following is a question by the Hon Ip Kin-yuen and a written reply by the Secretary for Education, Mr Eddie Ng Hak-kim, in the Legislative Council today (May 27):


     Regarding the Territory-wide System Assessment (TSA), will the Government inform this Council:

(1) as some primary school teachers have relayed to me that while the authorities launched the enhancement measures of TSA in April 2014 and ceased to disclose to individual primary schools the number and percentage of their students achieving basic competencies (attainment rates) in Chinese Language, English Language and Mathematics, schools can still derive the attainment rates of their students based on their scores in various sub-papers of the subjects, reflecting the limited effect of the enhancement measures on relieving the pressure on and workload of teachers and students, whether the authorities have collected the preliminary views of teachers and schools on the effectiveness of the enhancement measures; if they have not, how the authorities will review the effectiveness of the enhancement measures; whether they have plans at present to improve the enhancement measures; and

(2) as an official of the Education Bureau said at the meeting of the Panel on Education of this Council on April 13 this year that the authorities had set up a steering committee on TSA to review the implementation of TSA, of the following information on the committee:

(i) the membership list, and whether any of the members are representatives from the education sector and representatives of frontline teachers and parents; if there are no such representatives, of the reasons for that;

(ii) the terms of reference;

(iii) the work targets and tasks involved (including whether it will make recommendations on further enhancement of TSA), and the time when it is required to complete its work;

(iv) the approach for work, including whether and how it will collect the views of the education sector, frontline teachers and parents; if it will not collect views, of the reasons for that; and

(v) whether it will consult the education sector on the draft report; if it will not, of the reasons for that; whether it will publish the review report; if it will, of the arrangements?



     My reply to the questions raised by Hon Ip Kin-yuen is as follows:

(1) The Basic Competency attainment rate and the facility index are two distinct concepts. The facility index of a sub-paper refers to the average percentage of correct responses given by the students of the school, whereas the attainment rate refers to the school percentage of students obtaining scores at or above the "cut score". For each subject, the "cut score" is determined by the Hong Kong Examinations and Assessment Authority by means of psychometric methods and is not computed directly from the facility indices. Therefore, the average facility index of each sub-paper and the overall student attainment rate are not necessarily related. It is not possible to derive the school's overall student attainment rate directly from the students' facility indices of sub-papers.

     With a view to facilitating the implementation of the Territory-wide System Assessment enhancement measures, the Education Bureau has conducted a number of seminars to explain to schools the measures concerned and to hear the views of frontline fellows. On various occasions, we have been appealing to schools (especially primary schools) not to engage themselves in blind pursuit of facility indices but to focus their attention on the item analysis reports and to understand students' strengths and weaknesses in order to feedback learning and teaching. As the enhancement measures have only been implemented for a short time, the Education Bureau will continue to communicate with the school sector and to collect views from different stakeholders through various means, e.g. seminars, focus groups and questionnaire surveys, with a view to evaluating the effectiveness of the enhancement measures.

(2) The Education Bureau set up "The Coordinating Committee on Basic Competency Assessment (BCA) and Assessment Literacy" (the Committee) in October 2014. Members of the Committee include academics from tertiary institutions, school principals and teachers (see membership list at Annex). The terms of reference of the Committee are to advise on the direction relating to the development of the BCA project (including the Territory-wide System Assessment and Student Assessment) as well as the enhancement of assessment literacy in schools. The Committee will make reference to the views collected by the Education Bureau from time to time through various means, and report the progress of the work concerned and seek further advice from the education sector when appropriate.

Ends/Wednesday, May 27, 2015
Issued at HKT 15:08


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