Kids happy to be back as schools reopen for all - RTHK
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Kids happy to be back as schools reopen for all

2020-09-29 HKT 14:47
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  • There were stepped-up social distancing and hygiene measures in schools as the second and final batch of students returned for face-to-face classes. Photo: RTHK
    There were stepped-up social distancing and hygiene measures in schools as the second and final batch of students returned for face-to-face classes. Photo: RTHK
For many, they were just happy to get out of the house and reunite with their friends at school.

More children were back in the classroom on Tuesday in the second phase of school reopening after a longer-than-usual summer break forced by the pandemic situation.

Many schools have been providing online lessons since the start of the new school year in August and September, but the Education Bureau has decided to lift a ban on face-to-face classes as Covid-19 cases in the city began to fall.

The first batch of students returned to school last Wednesday, and on Tuesday it was the others' turn.

Pupils from primary two to four, secondary two to four, and the remaining kindergarten students were back in classes.

Schools were not taking any chances, implementing strict social distancing measures such as providing temperature screening and hand-washing stations for students at the entrance, and morning assemblies broadcast live to classrooms to prevent overcrowding.

At St. Nicholas' English Kindergarten in Kowloon Tong, some parents told RTHK that while they were worried about the risk of infection in class, they were happy with the resumption of face-to-face classes.

One parent surnamed Yeung said that she felt a lot of pressure helping her son study at home because she isn't a trained teacher.

Now that the youngster is back at school, his mother hopes he can improve his social skills by interacting with other children.

Another parent, surnamed Ho, said her son was often bored being stuck at home, so he was eager to go back.

Over in the North District, a primary three student told RTHK that she too is happy to be back at school.

She said she doesn't enjoy online teaching because it caused her eye irritation. The girl was happy to see her friends again, and her family prepared a kit for her that included disinfectant hand rub and wet tissues.

A primary four student said he was told by his teacher to bring multiple face masks, so he brought four.

He said some of his cross-border classmates were unable to attend, so he would message them later to update them on what happened.

At Fung Kai No. 1 Primary School in Sheung Shui, some cross-border students did make it to school – having gone the extra mile.

One primary four student surnamed Ng told RTHK she went through a 14-day quarantine here in Hong Kong. She's staying in Tseung Kwan O with her father and grandmother while her mother is still Shenzhen.

It's a similar story for a primary three student surnamed Yeung, who was stuck at home in Shenzhen but is now happy to be staying with his grandmother in the SAR.

The school's principal Chu Wai-lam told RTHK that half of his students are from the mainland, and so far more than a dozen have dropped out and decided to go to school across the border instead.

He said about 20 cross-border students had come to Hong Kong early to be quarantined and started classes as planned, while more are still in quarantine and won't be able to be back at school until next month.