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Early summer holidays for primary and secondary schools and kindergartens Examination tutorials can continue Five more schools have confirmed students on a single day EMB allows schools to make flexible arrangements

11/07/2020
  • All primary and secondary schools in Hong Kong will have an early summer holiday next Monday. The CNEC Lau Wing Sang Secondary School will hold its Secondary 1 placement test next week as scheduled, and workers will step up cleaning of the campus. (Photo by Lam Yor-kan)

     

    Early summer holidays for primary and secondary schools and kindergartens Examination tutorials can continue Five more schools have confirmed students on a single day EMB allows schools to make flexible arrangements

     

    Article date: 11 July 2020

     

    [Ming Pao Newspaper] Yesterday, five new schools were confirmed to have students infected with the new coronavirus, the Secretary for Education, Mr Yeung Yun-hung, announced that all primary and secondary schools and kindergartens will have an early summer holiday from Monday, and that schools can decide on their own whether or not to continue to postpone the Primary 5 examination and the Secondary 3 to 5 examination, and that make-up classes during the summer holiday will also be allowed. Yeung said there had not been any cases of infection in schools so far, and the examination was a static activity, so it was safe. Some secondary and primary school principals say they will continue to hold exams next week as planned, and use more classrooms to increase the distance between candidates for safety.

     


    DSE result release day remains unchanged. Students can return to schools to collect their result slips.

     


    When meeting the media yesterday, Mr Yeung Yun-hung said that some schools had reflected parents' concern about the epidemic, and after consideration and consultation with experts, it was announced that all primary and secondary schools and kindergartens in Hong Kong would take an early summer holiday starting from next Monday (13th), and that primary schools would be able to decide on their own whether to continue with the Primary 5 examination or postpone it, and secondary schools would also be able to decide on their own whether to continue with the examination for Secondary 3 to 5 next week, and whether or not to participate in the Pre-S1 Hong Kong Attainment Test (Pre-S1 Exam). (They can also decide whether to take the Pre-S1 Hong Kong Attainment Test (Pre-S1 Examination). He said the original release date of the Diploma of Secondary Education (DSE) Examination on 22 July remains unchanged, and students can return to their schools to collect their result slips on the same day, but reminded schools to take appropriate hygiene measures. Sources said the high number of confirmed cases of student infections on a single day was one of the reasons for the decision to bring forward the summer holiday.

     


    No cases of infection in schools Yang Yun-hung: Examinations are static and safe.

     


    Yeung Yun-hung explained that the summer holiday had been brought forward in view of the fact that it was only about a week before most schools were due to close for the holidays, which was not likely to have much impact on learning. As to why some of the examinations are still allowed to continue, he said that so far there has been no case of infection in schools, that the school epidemic prevention work is sufficient, and that the authorities have taken into account the experience of the DSE, that the examination is a static activity, and that there will not be too much communication between students, and that it is believed to be safe. He also said that the Primary 5 Submission Examination would affect the allocation of Secondary 1 places, the Secondary 3 Examination would affect the selection of subjects, and Secondary 4 and 5 students would need to prepare for the public examinations, which would allow flexibility in the arrangements for the examinations. He said the assessment of the examination is decided by schools in accordance with their education strategies and students' needs, and it is difficult for the Education Bureau to make an across-the-board decision, so it is left to schools to decide whether or not to hold the examination.

     


    In the current school year, classes have been suspended for a few months since the end of February, and primary and secondary students will resume classes one by one in late May and June. Asked about individual schools arranging remedial lessons for Secondary 4 and 5 students during the summer holidays to catch up with the diploma examination, Yeung Yun-hung said that with reference to the epidemiological work of the schools and the overall situation since the resumption of classes in May, he believed that it would not be a big problem for schools to provide remedial lessons for students of one to two grades. He added that from next Monday, when the school will advance the summer holidays to the scheduled start of the summer holidays, the campus will remain open to take care of students who need to go back to school, but there should not be any make-up classes or summer activities during that time.

     


    Cheung Chuk-kwan, Director of the Infectious Diseases Division of the Centre for Health Protection (CHP), said that the number of schools with confirmed cases of students or close contacts has been increasing, and that schools would have to suspend classes for 14 days in case of confirmed cases, and that she was aware of the Education Bureau's arrangements for the situation in schools, and believed that the school authorities would be careful in handling activities such as exams.

     


    Principals: Schools are experienced in epidemic prevention and can make appropriate judgements.

     


    Mr Tang Chun-keung, Chairman of the Association of Principals of Secondary Schools, said his school, The Hong Kong Management Association K S Lo College, would hold the Pre-S1 examination as scheduled, but would make reference to the examination arrangements for this year's DSE. He said that after the suspension of classes, the school would have more space, and with only about 100 students taking the examination, he was confident that the relevant measures could be fully implemented. However, if parents refused to allow their children to participate for fear that they would be infected, the school would assign students to classes based on their primary school results. He added that the three-week remedial lessons originally scheduled for August would now be conducted through online video, and to avoid inattentiveness of students in lower grades, the number of students in a group would be reduced from 20 to 10, and students would be asked to turn off the camera.

    Tang Chun-keung believes that each school can adjust examinations or make-up lessons according to its own needs. He thinks that since the outbreak of the epidemic in January, schools in Hong Kong have accumulated sufficient experience in epidemic prevention, and believes that schools can make appropriate judgement.

     


    Schools can add rooms to increase the distance between candidates and schools.

     


    The Chairman of the Central and Western District Headmasters' Association and Primary School Principal, Mr Jim Hon-Ming, also said that his school, Chiu Sheung School of Hong Kong, had cancelled the supplementary lessons scheduled for the end of August. However, due to the concern that students would lose their "will to fight" and the hope that "Primary 5 matters would be completed in Primary 5", the school would continue to hold the examination on the following Monday as originally scheduled, and would not postpone it to September. For example, each classroom will only seat about 10 candidates, and the school will have enough teachers to cope with the situation.

     

    Ming Pao reporter

     

    (Third wave of the epidemic)