Events & News
Almost ninety percent of students aged 8 to 11 in Hong Kong passed the problem-solving paper in an international test devised by the English Qualifications and Curriculum Authority of the British Government's Department for Education and Skills (DfES).
World Class Arena, a worldwide initiative covering mathematics and problem-solving questions attracted 1,200 seats of students aged from 8 to 14 in Hong Kong sitting for the test last November, when it was for the first time open to all students in the territory. Since the first test held in April 2004, more than 3,000 seats of students from approximately 200 primary and secondary schools have been enrolled.
In the 8-11 age group, the overall passing rate for students taking the problem-solving test has inched up to 88.2%, of which 26.2% earned a distinction and 34.4% won a merit. In the mathematics test, the students remained a promising 76.3% passing rate and 20.9% awarded a distinction.
"The test results unveil that Hong Kong students have untapped potential to develop in their problem-solving skills. However, since the background, exposure and the extent of problem-solving skills being taught at schools vary across different participating students, we, at this stage, do not have enough findings supporting Hong Kong students' problem-solving skills have been improving. We will need to gather more data in future tests in order to make a fair analysis," said Mr John Lo Yin-kue, Academic Project Leader of Center for the Development of School Partnership and Field Experience, The Hong Kong Institute of Education.
"There are many different factors contributing to the excellent results in problem-solving including the increasing number of Primary Five and Six students sitting for the test, a better understanding of problem-solving among schools, the competence of participating students, among others."
The November test was well-received by the Primary Five and Six students, which constituted 79.3% of the total participants, comparing to 54.6% and 57% in April and June tests respectively.
Mr Lo added, "World Class Arena is not an assessment tool, indeed, it aims at inspiring students and enhance their learning interest. Although elder students did better in November's test, we highly encourage children to take the challenges at an early stage because their higher order thinking skills have been developing since 8 years old. The test helps analyzing students' performance and identifying their strengths and weaknesses earlier so that we can offer them better nurturance and further strengthen their learning interest and confidence."
Out of the thirteen primary schools participating in the problem-solving test, four schools achieved 100% passing rate. Amongst the four, three of them have joined an Online "A Maths Question A Day" Inspiration Programme and problem-solving skills workshop. To help students better understand the test's format and type of questions, a pre-test workshop was specially arranged for all participating schools for the first time since its launch.
Principal Leung Shuk Yee of St. Peter's Catholic Primary School (P.M.) strongly recommends students to sit for World Class Arena and to participate in activities that help stimulating higher-order thinking skills. "Students are having fun in the thinking process. By providing appropriate and progressive guidance to students in an inspirational learning environment, we help broadening their thinking dimension and induce their interest in learning."
Fresh Fish Traders' School is one of the schools joining the problem-solving test. Sharing similar vision of World Class Arena, the school encouraged students to participate in the November's test and it has again signed up for the coming April's test this year. "World Class Arena is an international reputable benchmarking. The test provides an opportunity for Hong Kong students to measure themselves against their international counterparts and have a better understanding of their competence. By giving an international recognition to students, the test encourages their self-esteem and promotes learning initiatives, " said Principal Leung K.C.
In 2004, DfES exclusively authorized Trumptech, a leading educational and e-Learning application developer to run and administer World Class Arena in Greater China and Asia. The test, which is synchronized throughout the world, runs twice a year in April and November respectively. Hong Kong is the first place to roll out the test in the region, the pilot tests of World Class Arena in April and June and the first official test in November 2004 are well supported and endorsed by school associations and leading academics in Hong Kong, such as Hong Kong Aided Primary School Heads Association, The Boys and Girls Club Association Growth and Development Center as well as YMCA College of Careers of Chinese YMCA of Hong Kong. The next test to be held in April 2005, which is open to all schools and students aged from 8 to 14 in Hong Kong, has already attracted over 20 schools to sign in. Trumptech is currently inviting schools to be the core partnering school of April World Class Arena. The students of the partnering schools will enjoy a series of mind inspiration including the test assessments, school based problem-solving skills workshop and an online inspiration programme, namely "A Maths Question A Day".
For further information on World Class Arena, please contact 2346 0023 or visit www.worldclassarena.hk. Three days free trial of "A Maths Question A Day" is available for the public, for details, please visit mad.trumptech.com
Press Conference for Release of Hong Kong November 2004 World Class Arena Results
Group photo of the Principals attended the event
Group photo of some of the award winning students
Mr John Lo Yin Kue - Academic Project Leader of Center for the Development of School Partnership and Field Experience, The Hong Kong Institute of Education
Mr Kwok Tin Ming - CEO, Trumptech (Hong Kong) Limited