Unions believe partial evaluation moderated by overall school performance will create pointless paperwork A key teaching union believes a school-based assessment model proposed by the Hong Kong Examinations and Assessment Authority will reflect little of how students perform at school in their overall public exam grades. Under the proposal released this month, students' performance in projects, tests and exams in history and Chinese history at school will carry a 20 per cent weighting in the two subjects in the Hong Kong Certificate of Education Examination (HKCEE) from next year. The authority also recommends their performance in school be moderated by their school's performance in the public exam to ensure consistency. Hui Chun-lung, president of Hong Kong Teachers' Association of Chinese History Education, said teachers supported the spirit of school-based assessment but opposed the moderation of school results by public exam performance. 'It is contradictory for the authority to propose moderation, and say in its proposal that school-based assessment is crucial for reflecting abilities that cannot be assessed in public exams,' he said. 'If moderation is imposed, students' school performance will only have a minimal influence on their overall public exam grades.' The proposed changes follow an international trend toward balancing reliability and educational desirability in the exam system. The consultation period on the proposal ends next week. History, Chinese history and the newly designed integrated humanities will be the first three HKCEE subjects to include school-based assessment. Mr Hui said his group had proposed external examiners assess students' coursework, but was told this was not cost-effective. In addition to the regular practice of putting in students' grades to the centralised School Administration and Management System (Sams) online, teachers would be expected to fill in the same information on another set of documents to submit to the authority. There may also be extra project work required of students. Mr Hui said teachers and students were unlikely to be able to cope with the increasing workload as school-based assessment was expanded. Choi Chee-cheong, secretary-general of the authority, said moderation of school results was necessary as the standard of secondary schools varied a lot. It was the authority's responsibility to ensure comparability of grades across schools, he said. 'It is the same reason why primary schools needed the Academic Aptitude Test (AAT) to moderate pupils' internal results in the Secondary One Places Allocation System.' But Mr Hui argued the AAT had already been abolished for its negative impact on teaching and learning. Ip Kin-yuen, an education policy lecturer at Hong Kong Institute of Education, said that moderation could be achieved by comparing samples of school-based assessment between schools. 'But accuracy will still be a problem as the samples will be assessed by more than one person,' he said.