Secretary for Education Eddie Ng Hak-kim has refused to budge on cancelling the Territory-wide System Assessment (TSA) for Primary Three students. He dismissed suggestions that the tests put too much pressure on students and teachers.
But some schools face pressure to improve their results, which lead to teachers drilling pupils for the exams. Young Post talked to a primary school principal to see how schools view the TSA.
Chan Kam-fai, the principal of Ma On Shan Methodist Primary School, said the test didn't put pressure on students.
"We don't focus on drilling as the test shows us what level the students are at," he said.
"You can say the TSA puts pressure on students, but pressure can come from anywhere. So we don't force students to do too many drilling exercises to prepare for the test."
But nearly 40,000 parents signed a Facebook petition on Sunday threatening to boycott the Primary Three tests. Complaints came from both educators and parents that the tests were too difficult and that drilling deprived students of their school life.
Ruby Leung, 16, who sat the TSA, said she didn't worry about the tests because they didn't affect her academic results.
"I didn't feel any pressure as I knew the tests only help the Education Bureau [EDB] assess the school's performance. But drilling is wrong. It puts a lot of pressure on students."
The tests were launched in 2004 to assess abilities in Chinese, English and maths to help the EDB keep track of students' progress and schools' academic standards. The tests are held in Primary Three and Six, and in Form Three at government-funded schools.