School teacher cleared of faking oral results

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 11 March, 2014, 3:29am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 11 March, 2014, 10:21am

A secondary school teacher accused of fabricating English exam results was cleared yesterday after a magistrate ruled the testimonies of her students were unreliable.

Eastern Court Magistrate Li Kwok-wai acquitted Tse Hoi-lam, 34, on one count of using false instruments and two of using false documents.

Tse, 34, a teacher at the Hong Kong Sea School, was accused of submitting false English oral assessments to the Hong Kong Examination and Assessment Authority (HKEAA) between April and May 2012.

Three students testified against her in the trial, but the magistrate said it was "difficult to accept their evidence" and ruled the testimonies were not enough to convict Tse.

He found the students' memories were unreliable, and noted that they were unsure of whether they had taken part in a practice session or an assessment.

"The three students who testified in the trial had no interest in studying English. They were not enthusiastic in the subject and did not know much about the assessment," he said.

The oral exam counted towards the Hong Kong Diploma of Secondary Education university entrance examination.

The court heard that students had complained to the HKEAA, claiming they had not taken part in the oral component.

The HKEAA investigated with the school and asked Tse to submit the assessment reports.

The authority found that only 11 students could recall taking part in a discussion that was supposed to involve 35 students.

Some students claimed that they had not taken part in the discussion and that their signatures had been forged on the assessment papers.

One student even claimed he had not taken part in any group discussion during the assessment period between March and May 2012.

However, the magistrate found the students' memories were poor and not reliable.