A teacher teaches an online lesson at Hon Wah College in Hong Kong , on March 11, 2020.(Photo: Xinhua)
HONG KONG – Local schools will resume classes only when they are fully prepared for this and the market has sufficient stock of protective gear, the city's education secretary said on Thursday.
Kevin Yeung Yun-hung talked about uncertainty regarding reopening of schools a day after he had announced the government's decision to go ahead with Hong Kong Diploma of Secondary Education (HKDSE) examination on April 24, as scheduled now, with a contingency plan to delay further it if the COVID-19 epidemic worsens.
The Education Bureau will assess the risk of resumption of classes taking into account the COVID-19 epidemic curve, schools' level of preparation and the supply of epidemic prevention materials on the market, he said.
The education secretary said resuming classes is totally different from holding the college-entrance HKDSE. To resume classes across the territory, the department had to consider the large number of students as well as frequent interactions and communication with them.
Primary and secondary schools and universities extended their Lunar New Year holiday and have suspended classes since February owing to the COVID-19 pandemic caused by a novel coronavirus. Some of the institutions turned to online classes.
The HKDSE exams, initially scheduled for March 27, were deferred to April 24 due to a rise in COVID-19 infections.
The Education Bureau welcomed schools to set up summer classes to cater to students' academic needs.
Local schools have come up with a number of methods to help students continue with their studies during class suspension.
The department has also encouraged parents to cooperate with schools and create more opportunities for students to learn from daily life.