I refer to the letter headlined 'Cancel class on time' (South China Morning Post, June 13).
In the light of the experience of the red rainstorm warning issued by the Hong Kong Observatory at 8.20am on June 8, the Education Department has strengthened communication with the observatory and other relevant departments. This is to ensure that the Education Department has sufficient information and time to make a decision on whether to suspend classes during inclement weather.
The department has also improved the arrangements for disseminating information through radio and television, to schools, students, parents and school bus drivers, by giving them timely and clear advice on what to do.
We have now made clear in our public announcement that schools should ensure that their premises are open and should implement contingency measures to look after those students who have already arrived at schools, until the end of school hours. If students have already set out for school, they should normally proceed to school unless road or traffic conditions are unsafe. If schools are already in session, students should remain in school until the end of school hours and until conditions are safe for them to return home.
This will spare parents the anxiety of having to collect their children immediately from schools.
The new measures were put into practice on June 9 when the red rainstorm warning came up again and have proved satisfactory.
MATTHEW CHEUNG KIN-CHUNG
Director of Education
South China Morning Post
Hong Kong Observatory
Department of Education