Controversial exam scrapped
An exam which has been blamed for putting excessive pressure on schoolchildren was formally scrapped yesterday. The abolition of the 22-year-old Academic Aptitude Test, used to grade the performance of pupils at primary schools, was endorsed by the Executive Council. The test was originally intended to reduce pressure on pupils by testing logic and reasoning rather than academic knowledge, but led to excessive drilling as schools competed with each other. Pupils joining Primary Six this September will be the first to be spared the test.
Officials urged parents to fill up the extra time their children will save from not having to prepare for the test with more extra-curricular activities. The abolition was followed by an announcement that primary schools would each be given an extra $550,000 a year and secondary schools an extra $300,000.