A group of parents staged a protest and burned test papers outside a school in Kowloon Tong where the Education Bureau’s controversial Basic Competency Assessment (BCA) exams were being held, prompting police officers and firemen to arrive at the scene.
The protesters gathered outside the entrance of the Holy Family Canossian School (Kowloon Tong) (HFCSKT) at around 7:45 a.m. on Wednesday and burned test papers in a metal joss paper burner to protest the BCA, which they said is overburdening their children with more reviews and studies, hk01.com reports.
School principal Magdalen Shiu Yuen-fun said the students were frightened by the group’s protest, prompting some of their parents to call the police, adding that the children panicked when the fire engines arrived.
Shiu was seen taking a video of the protest and ripping some posters calling on parents to boycott the BCA, Ming Pao Daily reported.
Cheung Yim-shuen, a spokeswoman for another anti-BCA parents’ group, said they were not encouraging parents to take it out on schools, although it is understandable that parents are indignant because the government insists on pushing through with the controversial tests.
Cheung stressed that it is the education system that is at fault, and not any particular school or principal.
At the same time, she advised school administrators not to overreact and call the police when parents stage protests.
Lawmaker Ip Kin-yuen said he fully understands the parents’ emotions but it is important to ensure the safety of all concerned.
The Education Bureau had earlier announced that all primary three students of subvented and direct subsidy schools are required to sit the BCA tests.
Shiu has been a vocal supporter of the BCA scheme, saying the tests would help schools review and improve their teaching methods.
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