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**.
Any search engine can uncover exam cheats, says head of exam body
The head of the examinations authority has hit back against a tutorial firm which blamed it for not providing software to check its pupils' work after they were found guilty of plagiarism.
Tong Chong-sze, secretary general of the Examinations and Assessment Authority, said plagiarised work could be easily uncovered using search engines such as Google.
"You have only to type in one or two sentences into a search engine, and you will find out immediately [whether the work was plagiarised]," he said in an RTHK programme yesterday.
There was no need for anti-plagiarism software, he added.
It was revealed last week that 23 pupils from Modern College had their Chinese-language section of the Diploma of Secondary Education exams invalidated after their projects were found to include plagiarised passages with no citations.
The principal, Kason Chan Kay-sang, blamed the authority for not providing anti-plagiarism software. He also said the college's teacher was "too honest" in passing the pupils' work to the authority in its original form. Other schools would refine their pupils' work before submitting it, he claimed.
"What does he mean by 'too honest'? Everyone in the education industry should be honest," said Tong. "This is humiliating. We have guidelines for teachers on how to carry out their work."