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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 receiving the final report from the Committee on Prevention of Student Suicides today (November 7):

Reporter: In what ways will the education system be reviewed to prevent students from taking their lives?

Secretary for Education: Thank you. I have just mentioned that in Chinese, and I am going to repeat that a little bit in English. As I said, according to the report from the Committee, there is no direct correlation between the student suicide cases and the overall education system per se. However, we are not going to stop at that point. As I mentioned in previous conversations, students actually do face quite a number of challenges. There were concerns about the learning stress and anxiety during the teaching and learning process. So for that matter, we did not wait for the final report. Indeed, we actually already started simplifying or fine-tuning certain curricula of certain subjects, so that if (something) is not necessary, if there is redundancy or repetitiveness in the curricula, we will reduce it, simplify it. And in terms of the examination and assessment process, particularly on the homework studies, as a sort of stress to the students, last October I did send a memorandum to all the schools, encouraging each one of them to review its homework policy, try to make it transparent, including parents in the process of reviewing school-based and planning process as well as the policy at work. And for that matter, we believe that the positive effects have started emerging, and I observed some of the media reporting, at least one of the latest ones talking about several schools actually provide very good best practices on how to reduce the homework stress, and the other one (that) some schools are actually working on it right now. This is a very good trend and I am very happy with the result, after the time and efforts of everyone trying to reduce that stress. These are all examples of how the different parts of the education process or system or policies have been able to help and contribute to the reduction or cessation of the student suicide cases. Thank you.

(Please also refer to the Chinese portion of the transcript.)
Ends/Monday, November 7, 2016
Issued at HKT 14:27
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