Published: 14:34, April 15, 2020 | Updated: 04:43, June 6, 2023
HKDSE to start April 24, govt has alternatives ready if needed
By Gu Mengyan

HONG KONG - The Hong Kong Diploma of Secondary Education exams will go ahead from April 24 as the city sees dwindling daily counts of COVID-19 cases, the city's education chief said on Wednesday.

Secretary for Education Kevin Yeung announced 3 alternative options if the local outbreak worsens, including further delaying the tests to May 22, or to June 11, or canceling them under worst-case scenario

At a press briefing, Secretary for Education Kevin Yeung Yun-hung also announced three alternative options if the local outbreak worsens, including further delaying the tests to May 22, or to June 11, or canceling them under worst-case scenario.

READ MORE: Education secretary: DSE highly likely to start on April 24

The authorities postponed last month the HKDSE – the city’s college entrance exam – to April 24 and canceled Chinese and English oral tests due to a surge of new coronavirus infections. The tests were originally scheduled for March 27.

If tests are scrapped, the authorities will adopt a new assessment mechanism that will attach credits to a candidate’s secondary school performance, taking into account records of previous candidates from the same school, said So Kwok-sang, secretary general of the Hong Kong Examinations and Assessment Authority.

Schools have been told to begin these assessments, said So, adding that the assessments could also serve as references if the tests are successfully held.

ALSO READ: HK postpones HKDSE exams, suspends classes indefinitely

But the mechanism will not apply to private candidates, he said. More than 6,700 private candidates have registered for the exam this year, according to official data.  

More than 52,000 high school graduates will attend the exams at 350 test venues across the city. The written exams will last between April 24 and May 25. Results will be released on July 22 if the tests take place as planned, Yeung said. 

The official reassured that stringent infection control measures will be in place inside the test venues. The measures include requiring examinees and invigilators to wear masks, keeping at least 1.8 meters between the desks and prohibiting any candidate having a fever from attending the test.