'Full-day classes unlikely for most schools in Sept' - RTHK
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'Full-day classes unlikely for most schools in Sept'

2021-08-03 HKT 15:47
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  • Headteacher Dion Chen says students are looking forward to spending more time at school. Photo courtesy of Hong Kong Christian College
    Headteacher Dion Chen says students are looking forward to spending more time at school. Photo courtesy of Hong Kong Christian College
Dion Chen speaks to Timmy Sung
Most schools will probably not be able to resume full-day classes when the new academic year starts next month, as there’s not enough time for them to achieve the 70-percent vaccination rate for students and staff required by the government.

That’s according to the chairman of the Hong Kong Direct Subsidy Scheme Schools Council, Dion Chen.

Chen told an RTHK programme on Tuesday that what schools have to do now is to explain the situation to parents and let them decide whether or not to let their children get vaccinated.

Those aged 12 or above can receive the German-made BioNTech vaccines, while people aged 18 or above can also opt for the mainland-made Sinovac shots.

Chen, who's also the principal of the Hong Kong Christian College, said he believed students would like to return to school for whole-day classes.

Half-day, face-to-face classes only resumed in May for kindergartens, primary and secondary schools after the Covid situation eased.

"In the past one and a half years, we lost quite a lot of school activities. Not just learning time, but also the activity time and the time they can mingle with their peers. In general, I think students are looking forward to return to schools for a whole day," he said.

But Chen added that he doesn't believe many schools will be able to reach the 70 percent vaccination rate by September 1, noting the earliest possible date to book the first shot is now August 18 and people need to wait another 21 days before they can receive a second jab.