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HK parents snap up S'pore exam papers

BREACH OF COPYRIGHT: Examination papers from brand-name schools sold at Bras Basah Complex in 2012.


    Jan 07, 2015

    HK parents snap up S'pore exam papers

    HONG Kong parents eager to give their children a leg-up in their studies have reportedly been snapping up examination papers from Singapore schools.

    The papers come from more than 10 schools, including brand-name establishments such as Raffles Girls' Primary School, Anglo-Chinese School (Primary) and Nanyang Primary School.

    While copies of exam papers for English, Chinese and mathematics are sold to Hong Kongers online, the English and mathematics papers are more popular, Lianhe Wanbao reported yesterday.

    Hong Kong migrants said that parents from the Chinese city are keen on the exam papers because many of them think Singapore students have good grades and believe the exam papers have deeper content and tougher questions.

    Said Lee Chi Wai, vice-president of the Kowloon Club here, whose members are largely immigrants from Hong Kong: "Parents want the best for the children. To prevent (their kids) from losing out in the race, they choose more challenging exam papers."

    But Dr Lee also said he understands that, from the perspective of Hong Kong students, Singapore's mathematics and English papers are more practical.

    This is because the instruction of mathematics in both cities is similar, while the standard of English papers is higher than those from Hong Kong, he said.

    But as for Singapore's Chinese exam papers, Dr Lee said that the standard of Chinese here is lower, so exam papers for the subject are not as useful to Hong Kong students and demand for them is lower.

    Copies of exam papers from primary schools in Singapore began retailing on a website from early last month, Shin Min Daily News reported on Dec 26. Each copy can cost between $12 and $33.

    Demand was reportedly so high that stock for one 2014 Primary 6 English exam paper - which was on sale for about $40 a copy - ran out last month.

    The website is run by a middle-aged couple. A woman called Candy, who delivered the papers to undercover journalists in Hong Kong, believed the sale of the papers was not illegal.

    Candy, who claimed that she was a Singapore permanent resident, said she bought the papers from a second-hand bookshop.

    But Singapore's Ministry of Education (MOE) said the unauthorised duplication and sale of school exam papers "constitute an infringement of intellectual property rights".

    A spokesman told My Paper: "MOE does not condone such acts and views school examination papers as the rightful intellectual property of the respective schools."

    She said schools which find out that their copyright has been infringed upon "can take legal action to assert their copyright over their examination papers".

    "Schools had previously given notice of legal action to individuals and companies, and copies of the examination papers of the schools were recalled and destroyed," the MOE spokesman added.