Hong Kong students to return to school after HKDSE exams finish

  • Classes in universities, secondary and primary schools been suspended since early February because of the coronavirus
  • The first batch of students will restart lessons the week of May 27
South China Morning Post |

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Expect to see a lot more space between desks if you go back to school this month. Photo: SCMP / Robert Ng

Senior secondary school students from Form Three to Form Five will be the first in Hong Kong to return to classes on May 27, following the completion of university entrance exams, announced Chief Executive Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor.

Younger secondary students, along with students from Primary Four to Six, will resume classes on June 8.

Primary 1 to Primary 3 and third year of kindergarten will return on June 15, while those in the first year of kindergarten will not return this academic year.

International schools may choose to resume normal service from May 20.

Students will have to stay about a metre apart from each other and will only attend classes for half a day should face-to-face lessons resume. This would avoid the need for students to eat lunch at school.

PE lessons could take place, but students will have to wear masks and keep their distance from each other.

A secondary school principal told SCMP that spacing each desk out by a metre would be difficult in practice.

“Classes usually have at least 20 to 30 students. By placing each desk one metre from each other, each classroom would only be able to accommodate 15 to 20 students. What about the rest of the students?” the principal said, adding that placing students in single rows instead of double-desks would reduce some of the risks, given all students wear masks in class.

Health officials last week updated Covid-19 guidelines for schools, saying all students must have their temperature checked before entering campus, while any who have a fever or other respiratory symptoms should be asked to leave and see a doctor immediately.

In Macau, classes started to resume in stages from Monday, with 13,000 senior secondary students among the first batch to return, while schools stepped up infection-control measures such as providing more antiseptic materials than usual. Younger secondary students were expected to return to school next Monday.