Students from poor backgrounds who want their papers re-marked after they sit the controversial new Hong Kong Diploma of Secondary Education exam should be given cash help, lawmakers say.
The first diploma exams, involving 70,000 students, will begin later this month and legislators expect a surge in the number of students wanting their papers looked at again.
But the HK$700 re-mark fee could be a barrier for students who feel a paper has not been marked correctly.
'It will be unfair to poor students if they cannot have the services because of lack of financial ability. The government should give all candidates access to the services,' legislator Cyd Ho Sau-lan told the Legislative Council's education panel yesterday.
Fellow lawmaker Wong Yuk-man said the re-marking process should be simplified.
Dr Tong Chong-sze, secretary general of the Examinations and Assessment Authority, told the panel that re-marking had to be self-financing. But deputy education secretary Dr Catherine Chan Ka-ki said the government would consider a subsidy for poor students.
Candidates can ask for their script to be re-checked, which would involve looking for technical errors by the marker, or demand a full re-mark.
Tong is confident there will be enough markers to handle at least twice the usual number of re-marking applications.
The new subject of liberal studies has been at the centre of concern over consistency in marking.
There are no model answers for the subject and an education group warned that the failure rate could be between 30 and 70 per cent.