Govt urged to hold talks over fate of DSE exams - RTHK
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Govt urged to hold talks over fate of DSE exams

2020-04-03 HKT 13:00
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  • Teddy Tang, chairman of the Hong Kong Association of the Heads of Secondary Schools, says future plans should be discussed if DSE exams are to be postponed again. Photo: RTHK
    Teddy Tang, chairman of the Hong Kong Association of the Heads of Secondary Schools, says future plans should be discussed if DSE exams are to be postponed again. Photo: RTHK
Ip Kin-yuen
The government is being urged to hold discussions with all concerned parties about the future of students if the DSE examinations are to be postponed again due to the coronavirus situation.

Chief Executive Carrie Lam announced in March that the DSE exams will take place from April 24, one month later than initially planned. But some local media reports suggest the exams may be delayed further by a few weeks.

On Friday, the Hong Kong Association of the Heads of Secondary Schools urged the government to discuss with the sector what to do if the DSE exams have to be postponed again.

The association's chairman, Teddy Tang, said that for now, everyone is preparing for the DSE exams to go ahead as scheduled.

But said there needs to be a discussion as to whether or not it is safe for exams to go ahead if Hong Kong continues to record more Covid-19 cases, he said.

Tang said that if the DSE exams are cancelled, then Hong Kong could follow the example of countries like the UK who are basing final exam results on school performance and previous exams results.

But there needs to be a consensus among relevant stakeholders first, he said.

"It will be too early to speculate about the cancellation of the DSE exam. But in the event that we have to cancel the examinations, I think that the Education Bureau and the HKEA should have consulted with the various stakeholders, such as the universities and school centres, and even the students."

Tang also suggested on an RTHK programme on Friday morning that Hong Kong's eight publicly-funded universities could admit more local students for the coming academic year.

He said that because of the Covid-19 outbreak, a lot of international students who applied to study in Hong Kong may not be able to take up these places, and they should be given to local students instead.

A report published by HK01 cited sources as saying the government has been consulting universities about possibly starting the academic year in October if the DSE exams are delayed again.

Education sector lawmaker Ip Kin-yuen said delaying the DSE exams could mean that universities may have to start the next school term late, but that this would depend on how the pandemic develops.

Ip said: “If it is going to be delayed I think it will probably be in late-May or June or even July, so that would cause the also the delay for the whole enrollment process for university. So the universities, when they will start the new semester, will also be affected.”