Thursday, March 12, 2009

Hong Kong Diploma of Secondary Education (HKDSE) 香港中學文憑考試

In 2012, secondary school leavers will take the HKDSE instead of the existing HKCEE and HKALE. Currently most students study 9 subjects from form 4 to form 5. In the new system with the HKDSE, it is expected that the majority of students will study 6 subjects from form 4 to form 6: the 4 compulsory subjects of English, Chinese, Mathematics, and General Education, plus 2 elective subjects.

Some of us educators are rather concerned that, under the new system, the students will turn out to be narrower in scope than those under the current systems. Instead of 9 subjects, most students will study only 6.

One of the objectives of the education reform is to not force the students to specialize too early. By restricting the number of subjects that the students take, ostensibly to reduce the pressure on the students, the system actually forces the students to specialize in a much smaller set of subjects, much earlier than in the current system. It is not a desirable situation. Somehow in Hong Kong, we have a habit of saying one thing, while doing the opposite in reality.


Anonymous said...

I agree with you. Under the new system, students who want to explore, say, science, can only take 2 out of the 'standard' science subjects of physics, biology, and chemistry. Why? Such a system makes no sense.

StephenC said...

I heard that the restriction is imposed in the name of reducing the pressure on the students. I think it is another case of administrators making decisions based on some theory but ignoring the reality.

Anonymous said...

Would you like me to explain to you the rationale behind the NSS curriculum design and how EDB justifies this design? I was invited by HKU to give two talks on this issue (from the school's perspective on the issues and concerns and what will the new secondary school graduates be like under this new sytem) as they are preparing for 4-year U curriculum.
I am offering 4 electives for my students. Ann

StephenC said...

I would love to hear it from you. Shall I call you?