But they are in the minority and the reviews are helping schools, officials say Assessment reviews can help schools upgrade themselves, but some principals have distorted the policy and increased teachers' workload, education officials said yesterday. Teachers responded that the reviews had swamped them with paperwork that kept them from helping students. The Education and Manpower Bureau released assessment reports on 99 schools conducted in the 2003-04 school year on the internet yesterday. The schools were selected by the bureau. The reviews are conducted to examine schools' performance in the areas of management, curriculum development, administration, teaching and students' learning. They are used to help schools identify and correct problems. Anyone can read the reports on the bureau's website. The scheme will extend to all schools in four years. Bureau principal assistant secretary Andrew Poon Chung-shing said the reports would help schools improve themselves and lighten teachers' workloads. 'The reports can help schools locate problems they might not be aware of. Once the problems are solved, teachers' work will be made easier and their workload will be lighter,' he said. But May Wong, who teaches in Tai Po, said the scheme swamped teachers in paperwork. 'We are burdened with loads of forms and students also have to deal with tonnes of paperwork and surveys, as we have to collect data for the self-assessment,' she said. All teachers at her school were required to submit forms on every class they taught every week last year, and once every two weeks this year after repeated requests to their principal for a reduction. She said teachers' time was wasted on meaningless paperwork rather than teaching and talking to students who needed special care. 'We have students troubled with family problems and emotional problems. It would be so much better if we could talk to them and their parents rather than filling in forms about our reflections on every lesson. We are teachers, not office clerks,' she said. Mr Poon admitted some schools distorted the objective of the reports, as some principals conducted the policy incorrectly. 'We know that a small number of principals are doing it wrongly,' he said. 'We only need to talk to a small number of students to collect information needed for the assessment. Teachers should not be troubled with paperwork.' The 99 reports were composed by bureau inspectors who visited the schools to read documents, observe students' activities and lessons, and spend a day with five students at each school. Mr Poon said self-assessment culture, leadership, teaching, students' learning and academic assessment were the main areas weaker schools had to improve.