Local students and teachers should not dismiss the HKDSE exam, said Ip Kin-yuen, Hong Kong’s education lawmaker. He said that while the diploma of secondary education curriculum isn’t perfect, it is better tailored to local students than international examinations.
His comments came after a post on Secrets, a student-led online discussion page, discouraged students from sitting the HKDSE exam due to increased academic-related depression and suicide cases in Hong Kong.
“If you don’t agree with the way you have to tolerate HKDSE, you don’t have to. Just sit for another internationally recognised exam such as SAT or IGCSE and International A-Level exams,” the anonymous post read. It went on to say that the marking schemes for internationalised exams are “more flexible, allowing creativity and critical thinking”.
“We have had enough teenage depression and suicides, we have had enough substandard education,” said the statement.
Ip told Young Post that the HKDSE curriculum should be improved upon rather than scrapped.
“You cannot replace the curriculum altogether, but there must be reconsideration on how the teaching and learning is done. At the moment, students are learning too much - they end up memorising things and teachers have a lot to cover,” said the education lawmaker. “If the curriculum can be reduced to a more reasonable level, that would greatly benefit those involved so that creativity and critical thinking can be enhanced.”
He added that students should consider where they plan to study or work in the future before deciding which exam to sit.
“The HKDSE [...] is a local curriculum. Therefore you will learn things that will affect your daily life. For a more internationalised curriculum like the International Baccalaureate (IB], you are learning a more global view of subjects,” said Ip.
“Ultimately, we must find a balance [between] local and international curricula and contexts, as we don’t live in an isolated place here in Hong Kong.”