School supports teacher after theft of HKCEE test

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 05 August, 2003, 12:00am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 05 August, 2003, 12:00am

The Yuen Long school where a HKCEE paper was stolen by a pupil, sparking scrutiny of the examinations authority's methods, is still investigating the incident and has yet to identify the student responsible.

A Form Four student at ELCHK Yuen Long Lutheran College stole the paper from a female geography teacher and sent it to a local Chinese newspaper on Saturday, claiming the teacher spent hours marking exam papers rather than teaching during school lessons.

The stolen paper contains answers to the HKCEE geography test, penned by a candidate who took the exam at St Stephen's Girls' College in Mid-Levels on May 14. The paper was supposed to be kept confidential when it was being marked by the teacher, identified only as Ms Tang.

Two complaint letters were also enclosed with the exam. One, written by the thief, said Ms Tang did not teach and always shouted at students in class. 'She ordered students to study by themselves during lessons and then she herself would use the time to mark HKCEE papers ... worse, she ignored the privacy of the candidates by leaving their papers in the drawer [in the classroom] for many days. The papers were passed around by some of our classmates,' the letter stated.

The other letter, purportedly written by a group of Form Five pupils, claimed Ms Tang had been the subject of complaints by students, teachers, and parents many times. The complaints were all ignored by the school principal, it said.

But some educators believed the incident might only prove to be a prank by misbehaving students, rather than having been sparked by genuine grievances.

Cheung Man-kwong, a legislator representing the education sector, advised the school to contact the police. 'There are many areas of doubt in the story. For example, the Form Five students no longer needed to go to school after the HKCEE. So, how could they see the teacher marking the public exam paper in class?' he said.

An investigation was launched by the school on Sunday. However, the school said it had not yet tracked down the authors of the letters.

'Since it is summer holiday, we have only managed to contact three to four students so far. But all of them said they had not seen Ms Tang marking public exam papers in class, nor had they found any exam paper in the teacher's drawer,' said Ho Ching-man, head of the school's development department.

The school also said it had never received complaints about the teacher.

The Hong Kong Examinations and Assessment Authority said Ms Tang informed it about the missing script in May. But she only thought she had left it behind somewhere at home or in school.