Hong Kong government says HKDSEs will likely go on as planned, starting April 24

  • Secretary for Education Kevin Yeung Yun-hung said the bureau is confident it can hold exams safely
  • Back up plans include moving the assessments to May 22; possibly cancelling the exams
Wong Tsui-kai |

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Secretary for Education Kevin Yeung Yun-hung speaks to the press at the Legislative Council Complex, Tamar.

The government has announced their latest plans for the DSE exams in response to the Covid-19 epidemic sweeping the globe.

At a press conference on Wednesday, Secretary for Education Kevin Yeung Yun-hung said the bureau is confident it can hold exams safely as planned starting on April 24 and release the results on July 22.

Yeung, however, revealed two more contingency plans. One, further delaying the exams to May 22 and releasing the results in the middle of August, with a second delay deadline of June 11 and results day at the end of August. The second plan is to cancel the exams altogether and give students an estimated result.

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“We will look at all factors when making this decision. Number of cases are one, but the nature of the cases will matter, too,” Yeung said. “We are trying to strike a balance between the safety of students and examiners and the importance of the exams.”

Yeung emphasised the exams are a “low-risk” activity and appealed to all students to follow the rules. These rules will be updated with the required measures students must take on their revised admission forms. The forms will be distributed to students starting today.

The education minister also reassured students that the Jupas university admissions should not be severely impacted if the exams are held as planned. “However further delays are very likely to affect the opening of universities next year. After speaking with universities, it is possible that some may have to open in October.”

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On Tuesday, Chief Executive Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor said the exams are very likely to be held as planned on April 24. Health experts said the DSE exams could proceed if there were no new local clusters of coronavirus cases, as well as no cases of unknown origin.

A survey by political group Demosisto, released on Tuesday, showed more than 90 per cent of 11,000 DSE candidates polled this month had urged the government to further postpone the exams, citing a potential risk of infection.