HKDSE written tests to be delayed, oral exams canceledLocal | 21 Mar 2020 6:01 pm
The Hong Kong Diploma of Secondary Education (HKDSE) examination will be set back four weeks later, and civil servants will resume working from home next week, in light of the sudden surge in imported cases with Covid-19.
Chief Executive Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor announced the evening that the DSE written tests, tests, previously set to commence next Friday (March 27), will be postponed four weeks later to around April 24. Chinese and English-language oral examinations will be canceled.
The raft of measures came as the SAR saw an unprecedented spike of infected cases in the past week, bringing the tally to 273 today. Most cases detected in the past two weeks were imported cases involving patients who had returned from abroad.
“The surge of imported cases is worrying to citizens and the government,” said Lam, “the flood of inbound residents is expected to last for at least two more weeks.”
All examinations would be completed before 20 May and results will be released within July.
The Chinese language oral exams had previously been arranged from March to May in late-Feb.
The Examination and Assessment Authority (EAA) will release details concerning the latest examination timetable and keep close contact with candidates via mobile phone messages and email notifications.
All primary and secondary schools which were planned to resume clasee on April 20 would continue the suspension until further notice. The Education Bureau would announce details about class resumption 3 weeks ahead of the exact date.
Lam also announced civil servants will have a special working arrangement next week. Government officers had returned to office since March 2, after working away from the office for a month as a precautionary measure against the spread of the virus.
The government would only provide urgent and essential public services starting next Monday.
Community facilities that had been re-opened earlier this month would be closed again next week to reduce social contacts, including public libraries, museums, country parks and community centers.
Lam added the government would grant “no tolerance” to those violating the mandatory home-quarantine orders, as four have been arrested after authorities traced their social media posts.
The four people, pending for prosecutions, were sent to guarded quarantine centers for observation.
She warns those who were subject to the order "not to test the law", or else they would face a penalty of HK$25,000 fines and 6 months in jail.
Government officers will strengthen spot-checking on people who have to self-quarantine for 14 days.
Meanwhile, secretary for Constitutional and Mainland Affairs Patrick Nip Tak-kuen said the government would send the second batch of charter flights on Wednesday and Thursday to Wuhan, where reported zero cases yesterday, to send stranded Hong Kong residents back home.
Those coming back from cities in Hubei province would be allowed to home-quarantine for 14 days, but arrivals from Wuhan would be sent to quarantine centers