This year's HKDSE Examination continues to commence under the epidemic situation, and the HKEAA has set up a "designated examination centre" in San Po Kong. According to the HKEAA, 503 confirmed candidates were served during the written examination, an increase of more than 44 times compared with the total of 19 candidates under quarantine or confirmed diagnosis last year.
This year, HKEAA appointed 44 test hall officers and invigilators, together with <> invigilators from schools belonging to candidates with special educational needs (SEN), to assist confirmed candidates in completing the diploma examination. The director of the test center, who has a record of zero infection for three years, pointed out that this designated test site is different from the previous Penny's Bay examination center, and the distance between the candidates is relatively close, but there is no fear of infection as a result, and the most important thing is to help the candidates successfully apply for the examination.

The Examination and Assessment Bureau has set up a designated examination centre in San Po Kong for confirmed candidates to take the examination. (Profile picture)

Designated Examination Venue in San Po Kong Invigilators mean that there is an increased chance of close contact with candidates

The HKEAA shared the work experience of the two test owners, Ho Ka Hung and Choi Tsz Chuan, on the website of HKEAA Express Portal. Ho Ka-hung was the Trial Centre Officer at the Penny's Bay Community Isolation Facility in 2021 and 2022, and this year he served as the Trial Centre Director at the "Designated Examination Ground" of the former College of Arts and Sciences in San Po Kong, conducting examinations in more than <> subjects.

He said that compared with the previous two years, the biggest difference in the work of this year's examination center is the need for close contact with candidates: "In the examination room in Penny's Bay, we mainly communicate with candidates through windows or remote video monitoring systems outside the examination room, and do not need to contact candidates directly; This year, the operation of the designated examination hall is similar to that of the general examination room, and if candidates request supplementary answer sheets, toilets, etc., the invigilator will approach the candidate's seat to handle it."

Although the symptoms and severity of confirmed candidates varies, the examination staff also try their best to take care of them, and if some candidates frequently sneeze and have a runny nose, they will give them tissues from time to time, and put plastic bags on the side of the table to facilitate candidates to throw away used tissues. If a candidate had symptoms such as stomach boils and vomiting, the examination staff arranged for the candidate to sit close to the door to facilitate them to go to the bathroom. Ho Ka-hung pointed out that he also pays special attention to candidates who are resting on their desks: "If a candidate is crouched on the table, I will pay more attention to see if he is resting and not fainting unwell."

Candidates have been preparing for DSE for many years, and if they are unable to take the test due to diagnosis, their past efforts will be in vain. We are very pleased to have the opportunity to work as a proctor at the "designated examination venue" to help candidates in need to take the exam smoothly. The owners of the test hall are He Jiahong and Cai Zixuan

Choi Tsz Hin (left) and Ho Ka Hung (right) serve as the Trial Venue Officers of the "Designated Examination Venue" at DSE 2023, responsible for the examination rooms for SEN candidates and general candidates respectively (HKEAA website)

SEN student exam arrangements vary and invigilators must be present to respond

Another Examination Centre Director, Mr Choi Tsz Hyun, is in charge of the special examination room for SEN candidates in the "Designated Examination Room". Due to the different arrangements for special examinations approved by SEN candidates, such as extended answering time, special edition examination papers, short breaks, etc. As the Examination Centre Supervisor, he instructs the invigilator on how to allocate seats according to the candidates' needs and makes on-the-spot adjustments to the examination arrangements of different candidates.

Choi recalled that some candidates needed the invigilator to tap on the desktop every 15 minutes to prompt them to focus on answering. To accommodate such special examination arrangements and minimise the impact on other candidates, Mr Choi needs to discuss with the staff of the Examination and Assessment Bureau on duty to find another examination room and arrange an invigilator for the candidates concerned.

This year, the examination staff had more close contact with candidates in the "designated examination rooms", and they believed that wearing protective equipment, paying attention to personal hygiene, vaccination, etc., could reduce the risk of infection. Choi Zixuan shared that some candidates even thanked them after the exam, and the phrase "hard work" made him feel very heartwarmed.

Ho Ka Hung, who has maintained a record of zero infections for three years, said that there is not much consideration about whether he will be infected, and he believes that it is enough to comply with the epidemic prevention measures as much as possible, but we are more concerned about how to help candidates successfully apply for the exam.

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