The Education Bureau announced classes would be suspended until at least March 16, so we asked readers, including those about to take the HKDSE, what they thought about this
All classes at secondary schools, primary schools, kindergartens, and special schools will remain suspended until at least March 16, the Education Bureau announced on Thursday morning.
While this is a precautionary measure to protect the safety of teaching staff and students, many local and international school students - many of whom have been homebound since February 3 - are concerned about the indefinite deferral of class resumption.
I think the decision to suspend classes until at least March 16 is double-edged. While students’ health should be the Bureau’s top priority, extending the class suspension will further disrupt students’ learning schedule and progress. I am especially worried about its effect on DSE students, including myself, because the yet-to-be-confirmed exam schedule could put a lot of pressure on them.
Marcus Tsang, Sing Yin Secondary School, 17
Although school closures greatly affect Hong Kong students’ learning, it is necessary to prevent further spread of the coronavirus in the city. We may have to struggle to keep up with the world academically, though, especially as some of us have been idle and lazy during the past couple of weeks.
Lau Sum-yi, St Mary’s Canossian College, 14
The extension was inevitable to ensure student safety, given the current coronavirus outbreak situation. However, I could imagine DSE candidates must be very confused right now, as the government still hasn’t made a decision on the exam schedule.
A student who prefers to remain anonymous, Sacred Heart Canossian College, 18
It is good that the Education Bureau is taking precautions and prioritising students’ health, but there are certainly better ways of handling the situation - such as closing the border - than just shutting down schools. I'm getting tired of being at home for so long.
Kaitlyn Dsouza, South Island School, 14
I believe the indefinite class suspension is the government’s last resort in this dire situation to slow down the coronavirus outbreak, since it has become quite evident that the virus has been spreading in Hong Kong. However, as a DSE student, I feel like I have been deprived of the right to participate in mock exams.
The exam dates are ambiguous as well, and I am afraid that I won’t be at the top of my game in the exams. I have been staying home for fear of being infected, but it also makes me feel quite despondent.
Hugo Chan, St Louis School, 17
The further extension of class suspension is not very convenient because we haven’t finished learning everything covered in the GCE A-levels syllabus. Moreover, if we have any questions, we aren’t able to directly ask our teachers as quickly as we could do in person. It is also a bit unfair to have our class suspended when the A-level students abroad are still in school.
Bithiah Leung Yin, YMCA Hong Kong Christian College, 17
At the beginning of the class suspension, I was happy to relax at home, wake up late and enjoy some extra free time. But as time flies, my eyes and my back begin to hurt, and I am sitting at home all day with my eyes glued to the computer screen. E-learning, as well as not being able to go outdoors, is making me lazier. At the same time, I also understand that resuming school now could be quite risky as there are quite a few cross-border students in Hong Kong.
But if you ask me whether I agree with the extension of school suspension, I’ll say “yes”. Even though we’re not used to e-learning, health always comes first.
Trisha Alexis, The Hong Kong Management Association K. S. Lo Secondary School, 16