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Hong Kong Student Suicides: Education Minister Pelted with Bloody Exam Papers

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Hong Kong Education Minister Eddie Ng was pelted with bloody exam papers as there is a surge in students’ suicides, which is apparently caused by the stressful examination system.

Twenty-two young people have committed suicide since the beginning of this academic year. The youngest of them is an 11-year-old child.

Furious lawmakers pelted blood stained exam papers at the education minister for the controversial Territory-wide System Assessment. They accused that Eddie Ng has neglected the well-being of the students. The incident happened after the special legislative council session addressing recent suicides among young people on Wednesday.

The angry lawmakers shouted accusations and called him a “heartless minister.”  They questioned him on the possible links between these suicides and Hong Kong’s stressful examination system. They criticized him for inaction and failing to launch a review of the  competitive education system, reported South China Morning Post. More than 20 lawmakers questioned the education minister.

Regina Ip Lau Suk-yee, a lawmaker asked, “With the increased numbers of suicides among students, have you ever looked into whether it has anything to do with your new secondary school system, with the school-based assessment and coursework?”

According to Independent, the education minister responded to the incident in a social media post. He called it “unnecessary” and stated that the fake blood may create real distress to the young people. He argued that suicide is a complex matter and students had very few public examinations than before.

His post on Facebook read, “This time they threw ‘blood-stained’ exam papers as a political show. It’s worrying as these ‘bloodstained papers’ they specially prepared could cause discomfort and fear for students.”

Meanwhile, Ng confirmed that a task force has been assigned to look after the matter. The report will be out in six months.

Hong Kong-based Federation of Youth Groups conducted a poll in which 40 percent of students said that they feel anxious at the beginning of a new term.

Stress is one of the major cause of most suicides. Recently, statistics released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABB) showed that the number of people committing suicides in Australia has hit a decade-high.

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