HK school lets students set exam questions

HK school lets students set exam questions

A secondary school in Hong Kong is letting students decide which questions will be asked in their exams.

YOT Chan Wong Suk Fong Memorial Secondary School’s radical approach to education aims to create a syllabus based on the ability of individual students.

Besides having control of how exams are set, the testing learning model allows student to choose what homework they did, said the school.

The process begins with teachers assessing students’ abilities in several subjects at the beginning of the school year. Based on the results, homework and exam questions are created to match the competency of the individual student.

The initiative has been in full swing for about four months and teachers have tested the model on subjects like English, Chinese, maths and biology, according to the South China Morning Post.

“Once we know our children’s levels, we’re able to cater a syllabus that fits them rather than following a system that goes from the top down,” said English teacher Edith Wong Wing-fun.

The model is also “especially helpful” for students with special education needs, she added.

Thus far, despite students not showing immediate stellar results, the model has been pushing students to strive to do better.

Students’ grades have not gone up significantly, said Wong, but it has led to a huge improvement in their attitude towards learning, including better behaviour in the classroom as well as an eagerness to learn.

“Even though they are given a few questions to choose from, and it may be that they’ll go for the easier ones at first, eventually they will want to learn and be able to answer the harder ones,” Wong said.

Overall teachers have been supportive of the initiative, calling it a “huge success”.

“The children with special educational needs are suffering most from the traditional education system because of their congenital incapability to achieve high scores, but who’s to say they are weaker than the others?” Wong said.

“Each of our students has their own strength and weaknesses, but to constrain their success to a set of standardised examination papers is unfair.”