Fast Eddie: Hong Kong education minister Ng Hak-kim insists reading 30 books a month is 'a piece of cake'
Education minister Eddie Ng Hak-kim, who was widely ridiculed for saying he could read 30 books a month and more than 10 books during a long-distance flight, went a step further on Thursday by claiming that devouring that much words was “a piece of cake”.
Addressing the audience at an event promoting career planning, Ng said he had required himself to read 30 “books, magazines and publications” since graduating from university in 1976.
“Every day you eat breakfast, lunch and dinner,” said Ng. “Do you feel it difficult? No, you don’t feel it difficult because it’s already part of your life. If I read six magazines [a week], how many can I read in a month? So reading 30 books a month is just a piece of cake.
Ng added that he read two magazines over one meal recently, including one called China Today.
Ng has been ridiculed for claiming he could read 30 books a month and over 10 books during a flight that lasts over 10 hours. He made the claim about his prolific reading habits during an interview with lawmaker Ann Chiang Lai-wan, of the Democratic Alliance for the Betterment and Progress of Hong Kong.
Meanwhile, Ng told media after the event on Thursday that the Education Bureau had required a committee reviewing the much-criticised Territory-wide System Assessment exams for Primary Three, Primary Six and Secondary Three pupils to submit a report before the end of next month.
He said the committee would make suggestions on whether the exams were too difficult, whether it was necessary to conduct the tests every year and whether the exams should cover all pupils or on sampling basis.
TSA was introduced in 2004 to track pupils’ basic knowledge in Chinese, English and mathematics. But it has been increasingly criticised for imposing too much pressure on children through excessive homework and drill.