Ethnic minority students are paying a fee for Chinese language examinations that is almost five times higher than what local students pay, a concern group says. A group of 130 ethnic minority students marched to the government offices in Central yesterday in a bid to petition Secretary for Education Michael Suen Ming-yeung over a situation they said was unfair. 'Why do we have to pay more? We want equal treatment!' they chanted along the way. Fermi Wong Wai-fun, campaign director for Unison Hong Kong for Ethnic Equality, said the students were generally weaker in Chinese proficiency, and when they sat the British General Certificate of Secondary Education Chinese examination, they had to pay HK$965. However, a local student only had to pay HK$195 for the Hong Kong Certificate of Education Examination. She explained that students had to pass at least two language subjects to have a chance to enter university, and that ethnic minority students were usually from lower-income families and the examination fees were too expensive for them. 'We are not asking for better treatment but equal treatment so these students pay an equal price for the examination,' she said. Mazher Hussain, 18, a Form Four student who plans to sit the Chinese examinations in HKCEE and GCSE next year, said: 'There is only a very slim chance for us to get a pass in the subject if we sit in HKCEE, but then the fee for the GCSE is just too high for most of those at my back,' he said, referring to the protesters behind him. Nurul Iman Driver, 15, said she wanted to study science at the University of Hong Kong. 'Chinese is a very important language here in Hong Kong,' she said. 'We have to pay extra money for the examination and that is not very fair.' Because the Chinese GCSE is an overseas public examination, the Examinations and Assessment Authority has to take into consideration the charges of overseas examination boards and other related operating expenses when setting the fee, the government said. The Education Bureau understood public concern on the examination fee level of the Chinese GCSE, the government said, adding: 'We have been maintaining close contact with HKEAA on the issue of review of fee levels, and would also continue to explore other feasible means to further address the concern of needy candidates.'