Published: 16:00, April 13, 2020 | Updated: 04:51, June 6, 2023
Education secretary: DSE highly likely to start on April 24
By Chen Zimo

In this undated file photo, students take the Hong Kong Diploma of Secondary Education Examination (HKDSE). (PHOTO PROVIDED TO CHINA DAILY)

HONG KONG - Secretary for Education Kevin Yeung Yun-hung said on Monday that Hong Kong’s Diploma of Secondary Education (DSE) examinations are “highly likely” to go ahead on April 24 as earlier planned, as the coronavirus pandemic was showing signs of receding in recent days. 

More than 52,000 candidates are expected to sit the DSE exams this year

Yeung made the remarks at a local radio program on Monday, a day after the city recorded four new coronavirus cases, the lowest daily count since mid-March. 

The date for DSE, originally scheduled for March 27, was later postponed to April 24 when the COVID-19 outbreak intensified, raising concerns about health risks to students sitting the exams. More than 52,000 candidates are expected to sit the DSE exams this year. 

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The number of new COVID-19 cases has been on the decline over the past few days after stricter measures to ensure social distancing came into effect.

Yeung noted that the government did not rule out changing the date for DSE later in the event of another escalation of the coronavirus outbreak. 

Precautious measures will be taken to ensure exam halls are safe for candidates by seating each at a safe distance to avoid infection, said Yeung. The desks will be placed at least 1.8 meters apart, and there will be more examination halls and toilets to reduce crowding. 

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In addition, all candidates will be required to wear masks, fill out health declarations, and take temperature checks before entering the exam halls, said Yeung. Those with a fever will be refused admission.