BCA report to be released as soon as possible, says Ng

Local | Sophie Hui Jun 19, 2017
Schools and teachers are satisfied with the new Basic Competency Assessments, says education chief Eddie Ng Hak-kim.

The assessments ended on Friday after several hundred Primary Three students took the Chinese exam that was postponed because their classes on Tuesday afternoon were suspended due to the red rainstorm signal.

But some students said it was hard going sitting three Chinese papers - reading, writing and listening - and they were tired after finishing.

The three papers took one hour and 25 minutes, with students getting a short break between each test.

For Chinese writing, students had 40 minutes to complete two parts - practical writing and a short essay - and some said it was quite challenging.

For practical writing students had to write a greeting card to a friend who had won a competition. And for the essay, students had to write about an experience and their feelings of playing sports such as swimming or riding a bicycle and running.

Teachers thought the topics of the questions were related to students' daily life, but it was quite challenging for Primary Three students to finish two written pieces in 40 minutes. There was also no word limit so some students may have been confused about how much to write.

However, Ng, pictured, said: "This year's BCA was completed successfully, and schools and teachers are satisfied with the new BCA."

The secretary for education said there were improvements in the setting of question papers and on deciding question types.

"Many areas of this year's BCA have been improved, especially in four areas including setting of question papers and question types, support for schools and a report on results will be submitted to schools, which are very professional."

Ng said statistics will be collected in a review of the exam by the Coordinating Committee on BCA and Assessment Literacy and the report will be released as soon as possible.

He believes incoming chief executive Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor will announce education allocations soon and the authorities have been gathering opinions from different stakeholders of the education sector.

Ng said the government has put a lot of resources into education, with expenditure at 21.2 percent of this year's budget. "We think the investment on education and talent is necessary, this is investment, not expenses," Ng said.

He said education spending has risen from HK$30 billion to HK$80 billion in the past 20 years.

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June 2017