Educators attacked a move to allow sixth formers to sit for the A-level examination, saying it would put students under more pressure. Stephen Hui Chin-yim, chairman of Hong Kong Subsidised Secondary Schools Council, said the move would ruin the purpose of allowing sixth form students to join in extra-curricular activities. 'If students can take public examinations in Form Six, they will put studying and examinations as their first priority, not joining schools' activities. Matriculation is not a gateway for students to enter universities. It's a time to train their leadership and organisational skills,' he said. He said schools would also have difficulties deciding whether students were ready to sit the examination in Form Six. At present, only Form Seven students can sit the exam. Under the proposal, students could choose to take some or all of their examinations in Form Six, subject to school approval. Hong Kong Examinations Authority chairman Dr Joseph Chow Ming-kuen said the proposal would give at least 26,000 students more flexibility in their studies. 'Schools can have better time management for a more flexible teaching plan to cater for students' own learning ability,' he said. When the proposal is tabled next year, the authority will redesign the examination syllabus with the Curriculum Development Council. Subject papers for A-level examination would be redesigned into two separate Advanced Supplementary papers so that students could sit the exam in Form Six, Dr Chow said. Examination reforms ad hoc committee chairman Dr Tam Man-kwan denied the move would force students to abandon extra-curricular activities in order to complete the examinations earlier. 'We want to give them more choices and the final say comes from their own school.' Dr Tam said the authority would run a pilot scheme with some schools to assess the move. The authority also wants to list students' school performance together with their public exam grades on their results slips. Wong Kai-sing, 20, a sixth former at Cheung Sha Wan Catholic Secondary School, said: 'The syllabus will become too tight. Students will only concentrate on studying and spend less time on extra- curricular activities. 'Form Six should be a 'honeymoon' year where students take part in various school activities and develop non-academic skills, such as leadership and organisational skills.' Lau Yu-on, 17, a first year diploma student at Sha Tin Technical Institute, said: 'It is impossible [to take the A-level examination in one year] unless teaching starts right after the Hong Kong Certificate of Education Examination and there is no summer break.' She was also worried that teaching quality might be affected. 'This will only bring confusion to teachers and the school.'