Over 46,000 people have signed a petition in Hong Kong calling for the end of high stakes testing. In a pattern repeated globally, testing was introduced in the territory in 2004 for pupils in years 3 and 6, on the pretext that it would be a useful diagnositc tool for teachers. However it has now become a data collection tool to allow schools to be compared with one another, resulting in a huge amount of pressure on both pupils and teachers.

At a special meeting of the Legislative Council, over a hundred parents, teachers and children testified to the adverse effects of the so-called Territory-Wide System Assessments (TSAs). The youngest to testify was a grade three child who said, 'I already have so much homework on most days, and now with the exam, I basically have no time for play … or any time to do sport, I hope all you adults do something to change [this].'

Studies have shown that half of parents coach their children for the tests, a third for as much as an hour a day, even though most of them think that they have no value.

The Hong Kong government has said it is looking at making changes to the tests, however this does not inspire confidence since standardised testing everywhere is used in the same malign way. Teachers all over the world will recognise the justice of the Hong Kong campaigners' case.