Hong Kong students stressed about returning to school after Covid-19 class suspension

  • Form Five students feel more pressure, as they have the DSEs in the coming year
  • The survey about online learning during the coronavrius was conducted by the Hong Kong Federation of Youth Groups
Wong Tsui-kai |

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Students return to school at Yuen Long's CCC Kei Yuen College. Photo: Edmond So/SCMP

Half of Hong Kong students feel stressed by the resumption of school, according to a survey conducted by the Hong Kong Federation of Youth Groups (HKFYG).

A total of 1,821 secondary school students from Form One to Form Six took part in the survey. Of them, 50.2 per cent felt highly stressed compared to 41.7 per cent at the start of school last year. The findings also revealed that 53.3 per cent of the respondents were worried about the progress of their learning, while 52.7 per cent had exams coming up.

The survey showed 23.8 per cent also felt they lacked the motivation to go to classes, while 22.7 per cent were concerned about not being able to readjust their sleeping habits. 

HKFYG services coordinator, Hsu Siu-man, said the survey results showed that students viewed the suspension of classes as a long holiday, even with e-learning arrangements. Some students managed to study, while others did not. 

Covid-19 social distancing guidelines to be extended for another two weeks 

She also pointed out that students of different grades have different needs. “We can see Form Five [students] have the most pressure because of the DSE next year,” she said. “But we think schools can adjust their approach with other forms to help students ease back into school.” For example, some schools are allocating more time for interaction between teachers and students in their schedules.

“They can also consider keeping arts, music and other activities in the morning as a softer learning experience,” Hsu suggested. “Teaching the structured and dry academic subjects later in the day would be less stressful to the students and help ease them back to the rhythm of school.”

Hsu also pointed out a common source of stress for students – having to return to school after being away for four months, the length of two summer holidays.

To alleviate this stress, she advises students make sure their learning goals are small and achievable as part of a step-by-step process.