School chiefs show impatience as officials now look to resume classes next week following a round of meetings Some primary and kindergarten pupils may have to wait until Friday next week to return to class as education officials continue to dither over when to let schools resume. The Education and Manpower Bureau has been reconsidering its original plan to reopen primary schools and kindergartens next Monday after a 14-year-old girl at Po Leung Kuk Wu Chung College in Ma On Shan was suspected of having contracted Sars on Monday. A decision will be announced tomorrow. It is thought that officials are now looking to reopen classes from next Wednesday or Friday, with senior primary classes resuming first. Primary schools have been shut since March 29 due to the Sars outbreak. Bureau officials met representatives of parent-teacher associations last night to seek opinions. 'We still do not see going back to school as the mainstream opinion of the parents. So even if the schools reopen [early next week], few students will go back,' a bureau spokesman said. Officials from the bureau's 18 regional education offices will meet on Saturday to discuss arrangements for the reopening of kindergartens and primary schools. However, primary school principals said they hoped classes could restart early next week, as they had taken all safety precautions. Lam Seung-wan, a committee member of the Hong Kong Aided Primary School Heads Association, said Primary Five and Six classes could resume first, on Tuesday. He said most parents favoured a return. Fung Ka-ching, a principal and vice-president of the Hong Kong Subsidised Primary Schools Council, advised schools to follow guidelines. 'Even if it has parents' consent to reopen before the government issues further guidelines, a school will have to take full responsibility if one of its students contracts Sars at the school,' he said. Scipio Wu Tim-chau, president of the Federation of Parent-Teacher Associations in Wong Tai Sin District, said the suspension of classes offered no guarantee of children's safety. 'The most important thing is for the bureau to make sure that schools know how to ensure staff and students' safety if they find an infected case,' he said. Mr Wu also urged the bureau to encourage schools to replace exams with assessments. 'Some sick children are under pressure from parents to go to school because exams are drawing near,' he said.