Hong Kong's TSA isn't going anywhere, but it might get simpler

Hong Kong's TSA isn't going anywhere, but it might get simpler

After growing anger over the TSA, the Education Bureau seems ready to try a simplified version of it - but will that be enough?

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A woman adds her name to an anti-TSA petition outside Legco.
Photo: Jonathan Wong

The Education Department says it might be able to simplify the TSA, with less reading and easier vocabulary. A member of the government-appointed committee set up to review the Territory-wide System Assessment (TSA), James Lam Yat-fung, said a sample of schools could try the revised version.

The 22-member committee was set up in October amid protests by parents against the TSA and demands that it be scrapped for Primary Three children. It is expected to submit a report to the government by early next month.

Ma On Shan Methodist Primary School principal Chan Kam-fai says revising the TSA papers is a good start. "The TSA is an important guide to show a school's strengths and key areas that needed change. Some parents are against the TSA because it has some tricky and difficult questions. Making the questions more straightforward is advantageous for students, because they can actually test students' levels and suit their needs," he said.

Parent Heidi Chan, whose child is in Primary Two, said: "Even though the papers would be revised, schools may have to prepare for this kind of assessment. I will oppose the TSA only if my child has extra homework or tests in preparation for it."

But some parents said even with a simpler exam, schools would still ramp up the workload. They want the government to stop releasing exam results so schools would have an incentive to stop drilling pupils for the tests. Parent Ivy Ho Shuk-yi said instead of the government selecting which schools take part in the trial of the revised version, parents should have the right to choose not to let their children attend.

This article appeared in the Young Post print edition as
TSA is here to stay, but might get simpler

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