THE traditional Chinese over-emphasis on examinations has clouded the real meaning of education, says Professor Woo Chia-wei, Vice-Chancellor of the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology. Speaking at the opening ceremony of the Hok Yau Club's Student Guidance Centre in Causeway Bay, Professor Woo said that Hong Kong students should not 'just study for exams'. 'There are many educational problems we still have to deal with,' Professor Woo said. 'One is the overwhelming tradition in the Chinese style of education which dictates that good exam results are all that matters. 'In Hong Kong, students have to take several crucial exams like the Academic Aptitude Test in Primary Six, the HKCEE and the A-levels. All these have become obstacles to real education.' Professor Woo said that exams should not hamper education, but rather serve only as an indicator of how much and how well a student had absorbed of his studies. Hong Kong students should stop studying 'only for exams', but at the same time they should spend their time wisely, he added. 'If they go on wasting time on long telephone chats, watching mo lei tau movies and go karaoke-singing all the time, their standard will deteriorate. 'They might well find their Mainland counterparts leaving them far behind.' Professor Woo recalled how a group of Hong Kong students visited a Guangdong school last summer and came back intimidated by their peers in China - because 'they study better, express themselves better, perform sports better, and some even speak English better'. Professor Woo expressed thanks to the Hok Yau Club for the significant role it has played in helping students cope with exam pressure. 'Over the past few years, we have been happy to note a decline in the number of anxious or desperate calls from HKCEE students,' said Patrick Wu Kai-chung, deputy director of the Student Guidance Centre. 'One reason is that there are increasing opportunities for students, such as more places in tertiary education.' Mr Wu said the Causeway Bay centre had been in operation since last year, but some installation of equipment and interior decoration was still underway. One of the Hok Yau Club's most noteworthy features is its counselling hotline, which is to be expanded to three days a week (Monday, Wednesday and Friday) in April. 'There will be 30 trained volunteers to take calls from students, giving them advice and information about studies and careers.' Another important activity of the club is its annual mock exam in Chinese Language, English Language and Mathematics, which attracts about 6,000 candidates each year.