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Some students absent in S1 placement test (Sing Tao Daily)

15/07/2020

1/1 About 60% of secondary schools held the S.1 Class Examination as scheduled. Many schools adopted the anti-epidemic measure of DSE examination centres and increased the seating distance between students.

 

(Sing Tao Daily reports) About 60% of secondary schools in Hong Kong held the Pre-Secondary 1 (Pre-S1) subject test, commonly known as the "Secondary 1 Class Test", as scheduled yesterday amidst the epidemic. Many secondary schools said that they followed the same anti-epidemic measures as those used for the Diploma of Secondary Education Examination (DSE), which included requiring students to pass a temperature test and submit a health declaration form on entering the school, while some sprayed long-lasting disinfectant coatings to sterilise the campuses, and some headmasters said that individual students were absent, while parents who brought their children back to school for the test said that it was believed the epidemic would continue. Some school principals said that some students were absent from school, while parents who brought their children back to school to sit for examinations said they believed that the outbreak would continue and that students would have to adapt to "living with the virus".

 

 


In response to the outbreak of the epidemic, the Education Bureau announced earlier that the sampling arrangement for this year's Pre-S1 would be cancelled, and schools were free to choose whether or not to conduct the test. 252 secondary schools in Hong Kong conducted the test yesterday as scheduled, and a number of schools have stepped up their efforts to prevent the outbreak of the epidemic. Among these schools are the CNEC Lau Wing Sang Secondary School in Chai Wan, and the Carmel Alison Lam Foundation Secondary School in Kwai Chung, which require students to check their body temperatures, disinfect their hands with alcohol-based handrub, and submit a health declaration form before they enter their schools. Students are required to keep a distance of 1.8 metres to 2 metres between seats.

 

 


Lam Tat-ho, principle of the CNEC Lau Wing Sang Secondary School, said four students were absent yesterday and the school would make reference to their past results to divide them into classes. One hundred and twenty-four students took the examination in the assembly hall and two classrooms. In addition to the invigilators, an "anti-epidemic team" of staff members assisted in the smooth conduct of the examination. The principle of Carmel Alison Lam Foundation Secondary School, Ms Ho Yuk-fun, said no student was absent from the examination. 130 students took the examination in the assembly hall and three classrooms.

 

 


Mrs Chan, who was waiting for her son to finish the examination, said she was worried that he would not be admitted to the English class and his future development would be affected due to the suspension of tutorials in the wake of the epidemic. Asked whether she was worried about contracting the disease at the examination centre, Mrs Chan said the epidemic might continue until a vaccine was successfully developed, "He is already a secondary school student, he should be able to adapt to co-exist with the epidemic.

 

 


In addition, under the epidemic, schools have to stop their summer activities. Ho Yuk-fun pointed out that the original plan was to conduct face-to-face remedial lessons for the current S4 and S5 students during the summer holidays, but now it has to be conducted online instead, and the orientation programme for S1 students, which was originally scheduled to take place in mid-to-late August, will be postponed to September, "The epidemic situation has changed a lot, and it is too early to discuss whether school can start, but teachers will still prepare a 'school commencement bag' to give to the new students.

 

 


Lam admitted that he did not expect a third wave of the epidemic to break out in the summer holidays, which would make the start of the next school year uncertain. He also said that he had asked teachers to prepare a timetable for the closure of classes from September to November of the next school year, so as to be prepared for emergencies.