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Response of CS's Office to media enquiries on prevention of student suicide and TSA
     In response to media enquiries on the meeting between the Chief Secretary for Administration, Mr Matthew Cheung Kin-chung, and two Legislative Council members, namely Mr Ip Kin-yuen and Mr Shiu Ka-chun, as well as the relevant concerned groups today (March 15), a spokesman for the Chief Secretary for Administration's Office made the following reply:

Student Suicide Incidents

     The Government is highly concerned about the issue of student suicide. Over the past few weeks, Mr Cheung has personally chaired high-level cross-bureau/department meetings and met with representatives of the Secondary School Heads Association of 18 Districts to examine pragmatic and practicable measures to address the issue.
     In respect of the proposed summit suggested by meeting participants, Mr Cheung keeps an open mind and does not rule out the possibility of a summit. However, he considers it a matter of priority at this juncture to tackle the issue pragmatically and adopt concrete action through cross-sector collaboration.
Basic Competency Assessment (BCA) Research Study
     The Government stressed that we share the view of the meeting participants and the general public that there should not be over-drilling.
     The BCA adopts the improved Territory-wide System Assessment (TSA) at Primary Three (P3) and two enhanced professional support measures for schools and teachers that aim to discourage schools from using the more difficult supplementary exercises available in the market. The improved TSA has been enhanced in different areas, from examination papers, professional support to information analysis. It is a "low stake and no drilling" assessment since the results will not be used to assess students or schools and the assessment items only concern basic competency. In fact, the Education Bureau has removed the TSA from the Key Performance Measures for primary schools in 2014. Therefore, it will not be used as assessment of schools and will not affect school banding, the allocation of school places for admission to Secondary One or school closure.

     The BCA is still in its pilot stage and until now its final arrangement has not been concluded. The Government keeps an open mind and does not have a pre-conceived stance on its future direction. The Government will continue to listen to the views of different sectors.

     On the two issues mentioned above, the Government will continue to listen to the views of the concerned groups sincerely and is willing to maintain communication with them.
Ends/Wednesday, March 15, 2017
Issued at HKT 22:00
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