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Thursday, December 8, 2016, 19:10

Fate of revamped junior TSA hangs in balance

By chinadailyasia.com

HONG KONG – The city’s education chief says more consultation is needed for a final decision on whether a controversial compulsory test for Hong Kong's pupils should be resumed – despite a designated panel suggesting it should.

At press briefing on Thursday, Secretary for Education Eddie Ng Hak-kim stressed the government still requires further discussion on whether to bring back the Territory-wide System Assessment ( TSA ) for Primary 3 students next year.

Eddie Ng emphasized that factors that possibly drive schools to drill their students will be eliminated through the adjustments

On Wednesday, a member of the TSA review committee revealed in its report to the government that the committee will suggest a comeback for the test.

The Education Bureau (EDB) earlier arranged 50 primary schools to participate in a trial for modified TSA tests. The committee said the new version was welcomed by the schools.

Ng noted that the EDB has made adjustments to the TSA in areas that concerned the public most, such as the design of the test content, while the revised version also optimizes valuation reports to schools, intensifies professional support for teachers, and invites feedback from students.

Ng emphasized that factors that possibly drive schools to drill their students will be eliminated through the adjustments. As a result, he urged parents to set aside their prejudice and view the assessment from a new angle.

Begun in 2004, the TSA serves as a tool to identify learning gaps among students, and enhance teaching quality and resource allocation.

This year, the TSA for Primary 3 students was suspended in most schools due to an outcry among parents, with schools accused of piling stress on students by intensive drills.

The committee is expected to submit its report on reviewing the TSA to the EDB on Friday.

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