Cross-border secondary school students on Wednesday said they are happy yet nervous to be back in Hong Kong for face-to-face classes, after three years of online learning.
Secondary school pupils living across the border are the first batch of students to officially resume in-person learning in the SAR, two days after the full resumption of travel between the two sides.
Like all other students in Hong Kong, they are required to take a daily rapid antigen test before heading to school.
Education secretary Christine Choi said more than 1,000 pupils travelled via the Shenzhen Bay checkpoint in the morning, where 16 designated immigration channels were set up to cater for their needs.
"According to my observations at the immigration checkpoint this morning, the arrangement was very smooth," she said, adding that she’s confident primary and kindergarten students can return as scheduled later this month.
"We are confident that on February 22, we can [have] all cross-border students come back to Hong Kong… [For] the cross-border buses, we have different departments working together, and the arrangement so far is very smooth."
A secondary three student, surnamed Choi, told RTHK that this is the first time he set foot in his school in Tung Chung since starting his secondary school life.
"I used to talk to my classmates by text. I thought the classmate next to me was very introverted, but it turned out we have a lot to talk about," he said.
Another form five student from a Tin Shui Wai school, Manson, said he is happy but nervous to be back.
"I'm worried that I won't be able to catch up academically, or I cannot answer teachers' questions," he said. "I need some more time to get used to communicating with my classmates."
Fong Iek-leong, chairman of the North District Secondary School Headmasters Conference, meanwhile, said some cross-border students who earlier opted to continue their studies on the mainland are now planning to return to Hong Kong schools.