The Education Bureau has been reviewing the liberal studies curriculum. In a meeting with the Exam Authority, Dr Priscilla Leung Mei-fun, legislator and convenor of the Liberal Studies Education Concern Group, suggested that school-based assessments should count for 30 to 50 per cent of the total score, up from 20 per cent now.
"This will decrease pupils' reliance on the three-hour public exam and relieve stress," says Leung, adding that officials welcomed suggestions and will study their proposals.
The group also suggested scrapping the first paper, in which students are asked to answer all questions. Instead, candidates should be able to select from a range of questions, as in the second paper. For two years, candidates have been concerned that their political beliefs will affect their grades, says Leung.
Hui Sing-yan, who heads the Liberal Studies Teachers' Association, is worried that students will disregard the module on current affairs in the city and concentrate their studies on other topics if officials drop the compulsory questions.
"Students should have a good understanding of all social issues," says Hui.