Exam authorities weigh in on rule of law question

Exam authorities weigh in on rule of law question

Officials urge students taking liberal studies to go deeper into questions on the rule of law, rather than just looking at whether or not laws are obeyed or executed

The concepts of public security and the rule of law should not be simply interpreted as executing the laws or obeying the laws, says a report from exam authorities.

The response from the Examinations and Assessment Authority, however, seems to go against many government officials' and pro-establishment politicians' comments that the Occupy Central protesters are undermining Hong Kong’s public security and the rule of law by occupying the streets illegally.

"[The exam sitters] should expand and enhance their understanding on the importance and functions of the rule of law," says a summary of the report made available to media.

The authority is commenting on a question on the liberal studies paper for this year’s Diploma of Secondary Education exams, which took place in April.

The question requires students to elaborate on the conflicts between the freedom of expression during protests and maintaining social order.

The full report will be published by the authority today.

Another liberal studies question asks if students agree that political stability is more important than economic development for China to enhance its strength.

The authority says some students tended to drift away from the question, discussing China’s livelihood issues, economic problems and corruption.

The authority praised some students for being able to discuss "from a higher level and a different angle", such as making points that the Chinese government needs to secure stability of its governance, focus on

'institutional construction" and deal with people's requests on democracy to avoid instability.

A question in the English language exam asks students to write for a history newsletter featuring an imaginary village called "LuckyVillage", but some exam takers apparently mistook "LuckyVillage" as a person or a building, the report summary says.

The summary also criticises some students for using lengthy quotations from Nelson Mandela, Steve Jobs and even singer-songwriter Nicholas Tse Ting-fung, which might affect their marks because these quotations were not the students' own words and often did not make sense with the context.

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