Class suspension took exam toll on DSE students

Local | Leung Pak-hei 16 Jul 2021

A survey found that 49.7 percent of students faced high levels of stress while waiting for their Diploma of Secondary Education results on Wednesday, a slight decrease from 51.6 percent last year.

The Hong Kong Federation of Youth Groups interviewed over 560 students between late June and mid-July.

Over 60 percent of respondents said they believed the suspension of in-person learning during the pandemic affected their performance in the exam, and over 60 percent of students said they felt helpless this year.

Hsu Siu-man, HKFYG's service coordinator, said students may be less stressed because they were more prepared for the effects of the pandemic this year.

"Last year, the DSE exam was postponed just two weeks before it was due to begin, which affected students' preparation," she said.

"But this year's students have already experienced the effects of the pandemic for more than a year, so they may be better adapted to the current situation."

The results also showed that more than three quarters of the students sitting for DSE exams this year said they were troubled by the changes in learning modes while preparing for the exam over the past two years.

"Students needed to adapt to constant switching between physical and online classes. Many feel helpless about this situation and are worried about their futures," Hsu said.

The poll also found that over two thirds of respondents aim to enter university.

In addition, over half said they will consider applying for self-financed subdegree programs. Additionally, 26 percent chose to study abroad, while the percentage who wished to obtain master's or doctoral degrees rose from 8.5 to 14.6 percent.

Local universities have also begun to provide scholarships to attract students.

The University of Hong Kong announced yesterday that it will provide scholarships worth at least HK$50,000 each to students who attain a DSE score that is within the top 1 percent. There will be no cap on the number of scholarships available.

Among other faculties, HKU's business faculty announced yesterday that students who attain 5* in two subjects will be awarded HK$25,000, while those with 5*s in six subjects can receive HK$250,000.

The university's faculty of architecture will provide a HK$42,100 entrance scholarship, as well as a scholarship for architecture students worth at least HK$10,000.

The faculty of arts will offer an entrance scholarship ranging between HK$42,1050 to HK$168,400.

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