Must reform education system

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 08 August, 1996, 12:00am
UPDATED : Thursday, 08 August, 1996, 12:00am

When I learned about the 600 odd students who had memorised, word for word, an answer for their A-Level Chinese Composition exam, it became quite obvious to me that these students had felt it was okay to revise for exams by memorising material and regurgitating it in parrot fashion.

The Education Department is down-playing the fact that its exam-orientated system can only be outwitted by those who have cramming skills. This is only the tip of the iceberg. If all papers of the exam were scrutinised one would easily find that cramming has infiltrated throughout the system; originality has been completely lost.

The Director of Education Helen Yu Lai Ching-ping speculated that students were concentrating too much on exam results instead of the real role of education which is to promote independent thought. I disagree with her and believe that the present education system fuels cramming on a wide scale. The only independent thought that it has promoted among our students has been to do away with these exams where all students have to do is memorise everything, then forget it all afterwards.

This examination fiasco should not be allowed to slip away, without people calling for the Director of Education to adopt a more creative, broader, international system which is stress-free for students, teachers and parents.