Hong Kong English tutor says HKDSE mark scheme he published on Facebook was not confidential

South China Morning Post

'Celebrity teacher' Kris Lau of Modern Education is accused of bribing a public exam assessor three years ago

South China Morning Post |

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Kris Lau allegedly offered HK$1,000 to an assessor.

Tutor Kris Lau Koon-wah, 45, told a court on Monday that the marking scheme he published online three years ago during the HKDSE exam period was not confidential.

Lau allegedly offered HK$1,000 to 21-year-old Seraph Wong Tsz-hin, who worked as a marking assistant with the Hong Kong Examinations and Assessment Authority, in return for confidential information from the English Listening and Integrated Skills paper of the Diploma of Secondary Education (DSE) in April 2017.

Lau, who works for tuition school Modern Education tutoring English, was tried with Wong at West Kowloon Court, after the two denied the joint charge of conspiracy to accept an advantage.

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The court heard that Lau sent Wong, his former student, a voice message via WhatsApp on April 20 2017, asking for details about the general performance of candidates in the English listening exam. “Give me a list of what you observe in marking the papers,” Lau said in the recording.

He told Wong not to worry about what he was going to do with the information, adding: “Take the money, you brat. It’s your pay.”

In another voice message, Lau told the co-defendant: “Give it a better look and I’ll copy and paste the whole thing online, okay? It will be credited to a graduate of Kris Lau’s classes.”

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Wong later replied with a voice message, saying: “Only need to post the lower part of it. Who will bother to look at it this early in the morning?”

Lau published the disputed post the next day. On May 13 2017, he sent HK$1,000 to Wong’s bank account.

Choy Siu-kwan, then assistant general manager of the assessment authority, told the court the content in the post was highly consistent with the official marking scheme, which would only have been disclosed by the authority in November after that year’s exams had finished.

The trial continues.