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Transcript of remarks by SED

     Following is the transcript of remarks by the Secretary for Education, Mr Eddie Ng Hak-kim, at a media session after attending the Life Planning for a Bright Future cum Business-School Partnership Programme Celebration Ceremony today (December 3):

Reporter: Does that mean that next year the TSA (Territory-wide System Assessment) will not be temporarily suspended or cancelled? And also should the situation of drilling pressure as it is continue, what sort of ...

Secretary for Education: It seems that, based on the most recent discussions within the community as well as the education sector, we can actually see the major concern is on the drilling of the homework among students. How far this drilling problem relates directly to the TSA is a very big question. To begin with, we keep on communicating and emphasising that the TSA is just an assessment. It is not an examination. It is low-stakes. As a tool, it has nothing to do with advancing to the Secondary One class. It has nothing to do with individual students' assessment. It has nothing to do with ranking of schools and definitely not any factor relating to our evaluation of a school's future. All these are relating that it is only a professional tool on Basic Competency Assessment. On that ground, the key thing right now is to focus on the drilling problem. What are the major sources of issues relating to drilling? Is it because of too much homework? Is it because of misreading of certain messages from schools or is it because of just a public perception? All these we need to find out first. And in order to address the key concern, that is why I ask the BCA Committee (the Coordinating Committee on Basic Competency Assessment and Assessment Literacy) to actually take a good look at the three dimensions I just mentioned, and whether each question item from the TSA is too difficult. There is a perception of that. Is it true? How far we can manage it? This is one. The other one is what is the pattern of the examination questions. The third one is the operating process of the TSA. Is it really necessary and is it really possible to do (it) in alternate years? And will that maintain the value of the TSA and would it be conducted in alternate years or should it be on a sampling basis? These are the key questions that we should look at first.

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

Ends/Thursday, December 3, 2015
Issued at HKT 14:39


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