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HKDSE

The Hong Kong Diploma of Secondary Education examination is administered by the Hong Kong Examinations and Assessment Authority. Most candidates take four core subjects - Chinese and English languages, mathematics and liberal studies - and two or three elective subjects. Results are divided into five levels, with 5 being the highest. A Level 5 with the best performance will be awarded a 5**.

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EDUCATION

Top scorers shy away from Occupy Central

Most either oppose the democracy movement or say they've been too busy to find out about it

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 16 July, 2013, 12:00am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 16 July, 2013, 5:19am

Most of the nine top performers in this year's secondary education examination oppose or do not know much about the Occupy Central movement.

"I won't participate in Occupy Central because I heard from my friends that this movement is illegal," said Angel Tsui Yan-kei, 18, the top scorer at Good Hope School. She scored straight 5** for her seven subjects.

I won't participate in Occupy Central because I heard from my friends that this movement is illegal. I don't want to be involved in something I don't entirely understand

"I don't want to be involved in something I don't entirely understand."

The organisers of the Occupy Central movement are planning to hold a mass rally in Central next July 1 to bring the area to a standstill, but details of the civil disobedience protest are still under discussion.

"I hope we can have universal suffrage, but any activity that will disrupt Hong Kong's economic activities is unacceptable," said Tsang Ka-hing, 18, from Queen's College. He obtained the school's highest score in his seven subjects. "I don't think I will participate in Occupy Central, because I'll be busy with my schoolwork by then."

Four other top scorers from different schools were unwilling to comment on the topic, saying they did not understand the event. One confirmed they would not participate in the protest.

Occupy Central organiser Chan Kin-man said he was not surprised by such responses from the top scorers, believing they would not have had time to focus on political events while preparing for the examination.

"The idea [of Occupy Central] was raised when the exam took place. Schools wouldn't have discussed it much," said Chan.

"I think many schools wouldn't dare to discuss it much in the current political climate and with pressures from different parties."

He said schools had the responsibility to let students know about the movement and the concepts behind it such as democracy and civil disobedience.

Terry Tsz Cho-ho, the top scorer at the Federation of Youth Groups Lee Shau Kee College, said he supported Occupy Central but was not sure whether he could take part amid a busy study schedule.

"I can't understand why the government doesn't listen to the people," said Tsz, who marched on July 1 last year, calling for universal suffrage. "I'm surprised the government hasn't collapsed given all the dissatisfaction with its performance."

Erica Wong Nga-yee, 17, Ying Wa Girls' School's top scorer, said she admired the Occupy Central organisers.

"I very much appreciate that there's a group of people with their own principles and goals," she said. "They're not paid … and have a high risk of losing their jobs, but still they are out fearlessly fighting for something."

Wong took part in student group Scholarism's protest last year against the introduction of the highly criticised and now shelved national education subject.

 

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whymak
Reader ninacheung: You belittle yourself by calling HK top students learning by rote. More specifically, student Angel Tsui said, "I don't want to be involved in something I don't entirely understand."
All you do is regurgitate expats and bananas racist remarks about Hong Kong students.
Given your imitating tone of voice, could you or other commentators below with like mind give us a set of consistent attributes of the Democracy Cult?
You would most likely earn only F's in any freshman classes I taught in the past.
pslhk
I like the term 流口水博士
In recent years,
British universities have given PhD degrees
to knee-jerk specialists and spinal reactors
It seems like a joint effort
to prove the conspiracy theory
that they are trying to turn Muppets
into the ex-colony’s opinion leaders
whymak
Of course the blind student featured in SCMP article is mighty precious. While we value every individual effort, life and limbs, equal rights and opportunities, we must put personal interests in the context of collective social well being and survival. No man is an island like Robinson Crusoe.
Let's not entertain the illusion that morons could or should govern. Balanced views and policies from those who govern should result in decisions and actions optimizing outcome, although conflicts among individuals and differences between aspirations of individuals and their group are givens.
Airhead Democracy Cult weighs all I-said-he-said anecdotes equally. Placing populism ahead of objective governance criteria jeopardizes existing functionalities of an advanced society. Government failures and nations’ declines have been widely observed in dysfunctional democracies despite established institutions and processes.
Credits are due to founders of the early American Republic, who conceived the balance of powers in government. My brief mention above of a pragmatic and doable power balance is based on optimization under specific constraints of culture, institutional and collective memory. The scientific tools needed today were then unknown to the American Founding Fathers.
What is then scientific governance? It is a subject that phony political “scientists” are afraid to ask.
Real science answers objectively these questions: What is information? What is order or disorder?
babyhenry
So what if they support or oppose? What makes them so special, because of a whole bunch of A's they got in an exam? Hong Kong was build by many hardworking people with little education in the first place... who learned not at school but by working and learning and then studying when they have time for it and this is true in both the Dem and Established camp.
The only view that may matter is that blind student who truly did something extraordinary.
whymak
The outspoken pro-democracy academics quoted by this publication are by and large charlatans in soft disciplines. I don't suppose we can expect mediocre PhDs 流口水博士 of opinion surveys to conduct meaningful studies about typical aspirations and behaviors of university and high school students participating in street demonstrations.
Here is my guess. Vast majority of them don't aspire to study medicine, mathematics, sciences or engineering. If my conjecture were true, it would imply loudmouth sloganeers have little discipline or appetite to learn hard subjects as exemplified by the top students in this article.
This presents a grim picture for Hong Kong. Empty vessels with strong opinions but without the mastery of basic subjects are unlikely to acquire marketable skills later on in life. Unfortunately, Hong Kong competitiveness to a large extent depends on knowledge workers. The Scholarism brats could talk a mile a minute about politics illogically. But could they tell the difference of compounding interest between daily and quarterly, or better yet, continuously?
LXN
It is indeed sad to see that our "elite" students seem to be totally content with their ignorance about major social and political issues.....
paradox314
It's very strange how some people seem to think that 'Occupy Central' would 'destroy' Hong Kong. Why do you have so little faith in the vitality of this amazing World City. A lot of people in the rest of the world will respect Hong Kong all the more when they see that we have a political culture that encourages and embraces dialogue and dissent. It is such dissent that builds up the political culture of a place. And to those of you who complain about disrespect for the law, do you have any idea how the principle of 'Rule of Law' came into being in the first place? It was by acts of great disobedience to unjust tyrants and the unfair laws they hid themselves behind. For a just and lawful society to thrive, people must be allowed to and encouraged to vocally oppose injustice in the structure of their own society, whether those injustices are enshrined in law or not.
lxpang
I agree with your points, but the timing seems odd since the official policies regarding the election have not yet been released. People should give CY Leung a chance to release the policy. Then if they don't agree with it, they can stage the protest.
johnrai7
I think these young school students will soon go to the universities and change their mind ;)
sjfore
Good grades do not necessarily correlate with intelligence.
ninacheung
So despite scoring those top marks, these students have not learned to use their own brains, to think for themselves, and most importantly, to FIND OUT INFORMATION independently and ANALYZE it for its reliability.
Really, Angel Tsui, do you believe everything you hear from your friends; and did it ever occur to you that you could find out more about it if there is something you don't entirely understand.
And Tsang Ka-hing no doubt will spend a lot of his life busy with his schoolwork and later salaried work while real life happens outside in the real world. But hey, it's scoring top marks that matters, right?
ninacheung
Carmeledwin, Shuike, Daily, WHERE did I say that I support Occupy Central? I merely pointed out that these students appear to think that scoring top marks by rote learning and memorizing facts without really understanding and analyzing them is what is important in this world.
Now, if Angel Tsui had said that her friends told her Occupy Central is against the law, and she looked into the matter herself to check the facts and found out that her friends were indeed right and that Occupy Central was something she did not believe in or want to support... that would have been a totally different ballgame.
carmeledwin
What are you trying to suggest? Are you suggesting that our young people should disregard the law and break our laws? The reason why Hong Kong has been successful is that the people were mostly law abiding. Taking part in Occupy Central is killing Hong Kong. It will show to the world that we have no regard for the law; it will drive away investors and it will also drive away tourists, after all, who will want to invest in a lawless land or visit a lawless land? People who take part in Occupy Central are nothing more than traitors towards Hong Kong. Anyone who love Hong Kong will be against it!
shuike
Unlike you they're using their brains to promote & contribute to the well being of Hong Kong whereas the likes of you choose to disrupt & destroy it.
daily
Yes, well said and agree..........at least these students are using their time and brains to empower themselves for the future and not like those who have nothing better to do than to waste their time on this "Occupy Central".......all those who do participate in the Occupy Central are likely the ones in HK that have no contribution to society nor themselves and have nothing better to do with their lives.
likingming
No wonder the movement is for (of, by) the mass, the illiterate and ignorant mass. Top scorers simply could not understand.
carmeledwin
I do not think anyone who has any sense or even half a brain will understand why there are some people who wishes to destroy Hong Kong by taking part in something like Occupy Central. Maybe they need treatment at Kwai Chung Hospital or Castle Peak Hospital?
paradox314
Assuming you do have half a brain and most likely do not yourself understand why people are involved in shaping their own society, I wonder why you would feel comfortable accusing those involved of suffering from mental illness? Surely, if you attack what you don't understand it would be much more profitable for you to seriously question your own sanity!

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