French-language teachers say they are frustrated that education and exams officials have rejected their calls to alter 'unfair' exam arrangements under the new Hong Kong Diploma of Secondary Education. 'We haven't made any progress at all,' said Jean-Luc Rey, chairman of the Association Francais Langue Etrangere Hong Kong. 'It seems they [officials] are not really serious in finding a solution.' The teachers complain that a plan to have students taking an elective in French under the '3+3+4' senior secondary system means they will need to sit exams seven months early. The plan is for students to sit the British AS-level as there are no provisions to develop a local exam. But officials in the Education Bureau and Hong Kong Examinations and Assessment Authority have ruled that the students would need to sit exams in the language in an earlier November round rather than June to ensure that their results would be out in time for them to be recorded on their diploma certificates. Mr Rey said this would mean students would only have three months' classroom time to complete tasks intended to be done over 10 months. He accused the officials of making the decision 'mostly for administrative reasons' and not out of the best interests of the students. 'It seems to be simply to make their lives easier.' The association had suggested two possible solutions - that Hong Kong students' papers could be fast-tracked for early release by British markers or that students sitting the June exam could be issued a temporary diploma stating their French results were pending. 'This solution is commonly adopted in other countries and seems to us by far the easiest to implement,' Mr Rey said of the latter. However, both suggestions had been rejected. Thomas Cheung Kwong-yuen, an Examinations and Assessment Authority director, told the association in an e-mail that the proposals would not be practical due to the 'wide time gap between the dates of release of HKDSE results' and the AS level. British markers could not be expected to give Hong Kong students priority as 'examiners have to make judgments on grading after studying representative samples of all examination scripts'. However, Mr Rey said: 'We are determined to pursue this issue until it is resolved and our students are being treated fairly.'