Secretary for Education Kevin Yeung announced on Monday that students preparing to take the Hong Kong Diploma for Secondary Education (HKDSE) exams who test positive for Covid-19 (or who are close contacts of patients) will be required to sit the exams at special venues set up in Penny’s Bay isolation facility. During the press conference, Secretary Yeung also explained what exactly students should expect if they test positive before or after exams start on April 22, or if they’re too ill to write an exam.
What happens to students who test positive for Covid-19 before April 22?
Students who test positive for the virus or who are deemed close contacts of Covid cases before the exams begin will be issued isolation orders to be admitted to Penny’s Bay. While there, they will sit the exams in individual units at the isolation facility. Students can leave once they test negative on their sixth and seventh days after admission.
What happens to students who test positive for Covid-19 after April 22?
Students who test positive after the exams begin on April 22 have to inform the Hong Kong Examinations and Assessment Authority (HKEAA) about their health condition and get an isolation order before they can be transferred to Penny’s Bay.
What happens to students who test positive on the day of an exam?
The HKEAA earlier announced that HKDSE candidates must follow certain measures on the day of each exam. Students must take their body temperature, fill out a health declaration form, and conduct a rapid antigen test (RAT) before they leave for their examination centre. If they test positive on their RAT, they cannot enter the centre.
Positive students can call a hotline before 6:30am on the day of the exam to arrange for a taxi that will take them to Penny’s Bay. Once they have completed their exam, they should update the HKEAA about their Covid-positive status to get an official isolation order. These same arrangements apply to candidates who are deemed close contacts of positive cases.
What happens if the building where a student lives goes under lockdown?
HKDSE candidates who live in buildings that have been locked down for overnight testing will get testing priority so that they can leave their homes in time to attend their exams.
What happens to students who are too ill to take the exams?
Under non-pandemic circumstances, the HKEAA already has certain provisions in place for seriously ill candidates. These will also apply to students with severe Covid symptoms:
- If students are so ill that they are prevented from completing their exams, they can choose to get an assessed mark based on any other parts of exams or full exams they have completed that year. This measure only applies to students who have completed at least one exam that year.
- If that’s not possible, students will be given an assessment based on a comparison between their academic performance and that of their classmates, as well as their peers’ DSE results in the relevant subject.
Header image credits: VOA Chinese via WikiCommons