Archive for August 2010
More pupils hit top as GCSE results get better and better
Scores of pupils across the English Schools Foundation have notched up outstanding results in the British General Certificate of Secondary Education exams, as the proportion of A and A* grades rose by one percentage point.
And the German Swiss International School has hit a record for the top grade in GCSEs and International GCSEs, with two-thirds of all exams taken this year resulting in A* – up from 58 per cent last year. Of the 64 pupils in the leading international school’s English section, 26 gained eight or more GCSEs or IGCSEs at A*. Five gained 11 A*s and one bagged 12.
Mary Peart, head of the GSIS English secondary department, said the pupils’ achievement was phenomenal, while ESF chief executive Heather Du Quesnay said she was delighted with this year’s results.
“We are particularly pleased that all of our schools have gained more than 50 per cent A or A* for the second time in three years,” Du Quesnay said. “And they do match the ESF’s best results ever in 2008.”
Across the ESF’s four secondary schools, 54.4 per cent of the 8,486 GCSEs and IGCSEs taken resulted in A or A* grades, up from 53.4 per cent last year.
The proportion resulting in grades A* to C was 93.1 per cent – down slightly from 93.9 per cent last year. A total of 55 pupils achieved eight or more passes at A* and three gained 11 A*s.
The increase in top results came against record grades at all levels in Britain, where the GCSE pass rate rose for the 23rd year in succession for 98.7 per cent of entries.
The proportion of exams resulting in an A or A* rose one percentage point to 22.6 per cent and the A* to C grade rate was up by two points to 69.1 per cent.
For the first time this year, results were released directly to pupils online – spelling the end of the tradition of results being handed out in the school hall amid cheers and hugs. Schools were not allowed to issue paper slips until after the release time on Tuesday.
Island School pupil Christopher Lee Pak-to, 16, is aiming to study medicine at the University of Hong Kong under the Early Admission Scheme, which allows students to enter university a year in advance, after netting 11 A*s.
“I was quite surprised because I never really thought about what grades I would get,” he said. “I just try to do my best. If you focus on the learning, the results just come along.”
At King George V School in Kowloon, friends Edward Tam Yuk-wang and Scott Wang Cheng-yu were delighted to discover they had both gained 11 A*s plus a distinction in an award for digital applications.
“It was a nice feeling that Edward got the same results as me,” Scott said. “We have been friends since Form Seven. When my brother was at KGV he got seven A* and two As and he was top in his year. But I do think the exams are getting harder because we are doing more subjects and the content is being updated.”
In much the same way, my life is also undergoing a major revision with a version 3.0 soon to reappear. After Canada and Hong Kong, I’m now moving to the UK to further my high-school studies.
I am told that the internet connection and access in Southern Wales is poor. Despite this, PaulLau.com will not die off. In fact, it will be an even greater unifying force. Though there will be fewer posts, a more personal dimension documentation my experience will join the current array of debating and general commentary on news issues of the time.
Paul Lau (Website Owner, Creator & Subject)
As David Malpass articulately argues, “The Fed is trapped in too large a role, one filled with conflicts of interest.” While Malpass considers the lax budgeting and lack of transparency, I think the real essence and lesson of his commentary lies in what he suggests we do about the Fed.
The Fed should go back to basics: setting the interest rate, with the goal of providing a relatively stable dollar over time and low inflation. Let the Executive Branch and Congress do the rest, using a proper system of checks and balances.
Of course, life is never that simple. In a world as complicated as ours, its simply not possible to create a number of distinctly different agencies that cover everything and never overlap. Nevertheless, the Fed has been given a bigger pie than it can handle. Lets hope that in the aftermath of the GFC, we can take the opportunity to streamline government bureaucracy, beginning with simplifying the Fed.
Original article from Forbes.
It was aid to be aimed at ‘deterring illegal treatment of prisoners as well as attempts by prisoners to frame police’. Given China’s historical record, I suspect it will be used for the later rather than the former. Indeed, given China’s record, you might suspect that this new rule might not even be followed.
Nevertheless, the fact that this new practice has been introduced is a good step, an indication that at least officially, the government agrees interrogations should not be violent. Lets now hope that it works; at the end of the day, changes have to come from within not from the outside.
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For those who are from Hong Kong, enjoy a sped up view of our little city.
You can find more timelapse videos of Hong Kong from HD Timelapse at http://www.hdtimelapse.net/location_movies.php?location=Hong%20Kong%20-%20China
This showreel includes timelapse shots from Victoria Peak, Nan Lian Garden, Golden Tower, Chi Lin Nunnery, Diamond Hill, Nathan Road, Kowloon Peninsula, Garden Road, Causeway Road, King’s Road, Marble Road, North Point, Yee Wo Street near Times Square, Jardine’s Bazaar, Des Voeux Road Central, Queenway Road, Johnston Road, Connaught Road Central, Happy Valley, Tsing Ma Bridge, Tin Hau Temple, Kwanyin Statue, Repulse Bay, South China Sea, Lantau Island, Tian Tan Buddha, Po Lin Monastery, Ladies Market, Mongkok, Kowloon Peninsula, Avenue of Stars, IFC Two, Bank of China.
The most worrying development however was the reported refusal by the Palestine Team to debate Team Israel.
The debate, where Uganda’s Ham Ahimbisibwe was to judge, aborted after the Palestinian captain, Nour Hamayel, told the audience that they (Palestinians) could not debate people who oppress” them back home.” “We cannot pretend that all is well. We are treated as lesser humans in West Bank and Gaza. It will look principally wrong for us to debate Israel, which oppresses us,” she told Daily Monitor. “We shall be sending the wrong message to the international community if we debate them; that all is well.”
Quite simply, debate is not the place to make a political statement. Indeed, it is the place where arguments and logical discussion should be held and heard. If a discussion cannot be held, then how will conflicts and problems ever be solved? Perhaps like WSDC, other tournaments should make it a rule and of basic courtesy to debate any assigned opponent.