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EDB conducts school questionnaire survey on optimising senior secondary core subjects
     The Education Bureau (EDB) today (February 2) issued a circular memorandum to all secondary schools to provide details about a one-month school questionnaire survey with the aim of understanding schools' suggestions and views on the proposals to optimise the curricula and assessments of the four senior secondary (SS) core subjects. School briefing sessions will also be arranged to explain to school leaders and front-line teachers the optimising proposals and listen to their views.

     A spokesman for the EDB said, "In tandem with the recommendations on creating space for students and catering for learner diversity set out in the review report with the theme 'Optimise the curriculum for the future, Foster whole-person development and diverse talents' of the Task Force on Review of School Curriculum, the committees on the four SS core subjects under the Curriculum Development Council (CDC) and the Hong Kong Examinations and Assessment Authority (HKEAA) have formulated proposals to optimise the curricula and assessments of the subjects, thereby creating space for students, catering for their diverse learning needs as well as fostering their whole-person development and diverse talents."

     The spokesman pointed out that as the natures of the four SS core subjects are different, the proposal for each core subject would be different while upholding the curriculum integrity of the subject. For Chinese Language, the proposal is more about streamlining the teaching of the compulsory part and elective parts and reducing the number of papers in the public assessment to avoid excessive drilling. For English Language, space would be created via integrating the teaching of the elective part into the compulsory part to reduce overlapping in teaching. For Mathematics, the curriculum comprises the "Foundation Topics" and "Non-foundation Topics". Students could opt for studying the Foundation Topics together with only part of the Non-foundation Topics. They would be able to score as high as Level 4 in the Hong Kong Diploma of Secondary Education Examination should they perform well in the Foundation Topics. As regards Liberal Studies, while the subject will be given a new name, various enhancement measures will be in place and the weight of its curriculum content will be reduced by half.

     He said, "About 250 hours (notional) will be released from optimising the four SS core subjects. This is, however, not prescriptive nor an across‑the‑board hard indicator. Upon the full implementation of the measures to optimise the four SS core subjects, schools would be able to cater for the diverse learning needs of students through curriculum planning at the school level with due regard to the differentiated needs of students within their own school contexts. The lesson time released will enable students to take an additional elective subject in Key Learning Areas (KLAs) or Applied Learning (ApL), engage in more in-depth study of subjects, study the Extended Part (Module 1/Module 2) (M1/M2) in parallel with the Compulsory Part of Mathematics, participate more actively in Other Learning Experiences (OLE)/life-wide learning activities, or engage in other personal pursuits to cater for the different interests, abilities and aspirations of students.

     The views of the school sector collected from the one-month school questionnaire survey will be put to the committees on the four SS core subjects under the CDC and the HKEAA for consideration. If eventually accepted, the proposals can be implemented at Secondary Four in the 2021/22 school year at the earliest to benefit students as soon as possible. Meanwhile, the EDB will strengthen the related support measures, including teacher training and learning and teaching resources, so that teachers can make appropriate preparations.

     The spokesman added that the Task Force conducted the review of the primary and secondary curricula for nearly three years, including consulting extensively different stakeholder groups in society for reaching a consensus. The recommendations on creating space for students and catering for learner diversity were generally welcomed by the school sector. For the benefit of students, the EDB appeals to various sectors in society to join forces and work together to bring the recommendations to fruition and broaden students' learning experiences.

     Details of the review report of the Task Force can be viewed on the EDB's website: www.edb.gov.hk/en/curriculum-development/renewal/taskforce_cur.html.
     For details of the school questionnaire survey and school briefing sessions, schools may refer to EDBCM No. 20/2021 (applications.edb.gov.hk/circular/upload/EDBCM/EDBCM21020E.pdf). 
Ends/Tuesday, February 2, 2021
Issued at HKT 19:29
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