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School-based assessment streamlined for 11 subjects, most submissions halved (Sing Tao Daily)

28/05/2020

(Sing Tao Daily) Secondary schools have been closed for nearly four months due to the New Guan epidemic, which has greatly affected the school-based assessment (SBA) of Form 5 students. The Examinations and Assessment Authority (EAA) announced yesterday that it will streamline the SBA requirements of a total of eleven subjects for the next Diploma of Arts (DEA) examination candidates, with most of the submissions halved, and will only be completed in the Form 6 academic year. Some secondary school principals said the streamlining would help reduce the pressure on teachers and students to catch up with school assessments after classes resume. The requirement for students to submit four copies of their work in the Visual Arts subject has been reduced to two, and some teachers of the subject believe that the narrowing of the difference in candidates' performance means that the public examination will be more important to them.

 

 


The HKEAA has announced the streamlining requirements for SBA in 2011, which will affect students currently studying Secondary 5. Among the 15 subjects with SBA, the remaining 11 subjects have been streamlined, with the exception of Liberal Studies, Design and Applied Science and Technology, Health Management and Social Care, and English Literature, which remain unchanged. For the compulsory subject of Chinese Language, the elective part of the SBA used to require the completion of two modules and the submission of marks, but under the new arrangement, this has been reduced to one; for English Language, the subject used to be divided into two parts, with Part A requiring the reading of both paper and non-paper materials, and Part B requiring the completion of a short presentation or a group discussion from one of the eight elective modules, but under the new arrangement, candidates are only required to complete one part of the subject, and the marks for each of the two parts have been reduced from 7.5% to a total of 15.0%.

 

 


For the elective subjects, Biology, Chemistry and Physics have reduced the minimum number of assessments to be submitted by candidates. Previously, candidates were required to submit two assignments in each of the two ability ranges of Biology in S5 and S6, but under the new arrangement, candidates are only required to submit two assignments in S6. Lam Tat-ho, Principal of CMC Lau Wing Sang Secondary School, pointed out that under the new arrangement, teachers and students do not have to catch up with the progress of the school assessment, "generally five to six marks will be handed in for science subjects, and there is no need to rush to do experiments in the end of June to early July, or even during the summer holidays". Although some teachers had already completed the SBA in the last semester, he pointed out that the science curriculum was after all an inquiry-based learning process, and it would be better to arrange for candidates to do experiments in the sixth form than to focus only on teaching to catch up with the progress.

 

 


The streamlining of the SBA for Visual Arts has also changed considerably. In the past, candidates were required to submit two pieces of artwork or appreciative studies in each of S5 and S6, which each accounted for 15% of the marks, but under the new arrangement, they are required to submit two pieces of artwork in S6 only, which accounts for 30% of the marks. Leung Shung Yam, a senior teacher of the subject, pointed out that the halving of the number of artworks submitted for the SBA would have a certain impact on the candidates, "Unlike the past, when everyone submitted only two out of four artworks, it is more difficult to differentiate between the two, and it is not possible to see the development of the artworks and their conception, as they can only be assessed by their skills and ideas.

 

 


Mr Leung agrees that reducing the number of pieces of work to be assessed by schools will provide flexibility for teachers and students, but he expects that the difference in the marks awarded to candidates in the school assessments will be narrowed, and he believes that in the next HKDSE Examination, the performance in the public examination will be the key to the success of the candidates in the VA subject.