All schools at the secondary level and below are to suspend in-person classes for the rest of the year, after authorities confirmed 115 Covid-19 cases on Sunday – the highest number in almost four months.
However, the suspension will only take effect on Wednesday to give schools some time to make the necessary arrangements.
In a statement, a government spokesman said in-person classes would be suspended from Wednesday until the Christmas break – effectively meaning there’ll be no school for the remainder of the year.
Schools will have the next few days to organise online classes and make other necessary arrangements, but primary six students who are preparing for secondary school entrance exams, as well as students of other grades preparing for public examinations may be allowed to go back to school if necessary – pending further discussions with the sector.
Despite the class suspension, schools will remain physically open to take care of students whose parents can’t arrange for them to stay at home.
The spokesman also urged parents to avoid taking their children to crowded places during the class suspension.
The two biggest teachers’ unions in Hong Kong had both agreed that a complete school shutdown was needed, calling on the government to adopt the measure to protect students and staff earlier in the day.
The pro-Beijing Federation of Education Workers had said closing down schools is a necessary step, given the severity of the outbreak. The Vice President of the Professional Teachers’ Union, Ip Kin-yuen, said schools could have become virus hotspots.
“The situation is getting very bad… it’s very obvious. The secondary school students and teachers and also the senior forms of primary schools are exposed to danger," he said.
Last updated: 2020-11-29 HKT 18:19
Schools to suspend classes for the rest of the year
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