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Transcript of remarks by SED
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     Following is the transcript of remarks by the Secretary for Education, Mr Eddie Ng Hak-kim, at a media session after attending a reception to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the Future Star Federation of Student today (October 26):     

Reporter: (About) the actual purposes of the TSA, I want to know have you ever explained clearly to the students and teachers what TSA is about, and if so, then why is it possible that the Government does not know about the plight that students and teachers are facing, the difficulties that they are facing?

Secretary for Education: As I said, so far, based on all the interactions with different stakeholder groups, including teachers, principals, schools and so on, and including parents íV we have made a lot of contacts and interaction with them íV I have yet, I have yet to be told that we should kill or eliminate this TSA in terms of its original objective. The concern relates to some people overheard someone saying that some of the question items are really tough and the teachers may have concern and so on. We have to turn to the fact (that) if there are schools, or if there is a school, actually pushing so hard, I would like to know, because that would be defeating the original purpose of the TSA. TSA itself is a really good tool. When we talked to, when we asked the opinions of schools and so on, they did tell us that this is a very important, meaningful, effective tool for them to work together with students in improving teaching and learning.

Reporter: I just want to know if there is only insufficient interaction between the bureau and different schools so that the Government does not know the plight that the students and teachers are facing.

Secretary for Education: As I said, not only myself, my colleagues, particularly my colleagues at the district level, would have interaction with schools and teachers every day. Not that we are unaware of it. As I said, the tool itself is for basic competency testing and assessment. It is not something to be drilled for, to begin with. Therefore if someone chooses to be drilling, that is somebody's decision, not ours, to begin with. I want to make it very clear. And I am, for one, against drilling students in the first place. With this one, teachers properly deploying the tool do not tell me this is something new. The whole tool has been deployed since 2004. It is over 10 or 11 years of experience. I understand sometimes teachers, parents or schools might be overly concerned about it, and then might be taking different measures. This is the time, and again, that we remind both parents and key stakeholders that this is a tool for that purpose; no need for drilling students.

(Please also refer to the Chinese portion of the transcript.)

Ends/Monday, October 26, 2015
Issued at HKT 20:34

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